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Aknowledged on 2nd July 2020

Department of Nerosurgery

Department of Neurosurgery,Room No #580,
Max Super Speciality Hospital, Sector 1,
Vaishali, Ghaziabad, Uttar Pradesh 201012
Open now : Open 24 hours
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Spinal Disc Problems

A spinal disc or intervertebral disc is a spongy cushion that separates the bones (vertebrae) of the spine and performs important functions like absorption of shock, the stability of vertebral column, and allows movement of vertebrae. Although the disc is quite strong and can bear a lot of pressure some factors can damage and push its contents out leading to spinal disc problems.

Risk factors for disc problems

Although there is no known specific cause of disc problems, the following risk factors make any individual more susceptible to disc problems than others:

• Obesity or being overweight

• Poor muscle tone

• Lack of regular exercise

• Sedentary lifestyle

• Excessive cigarette smoking

• Alcohol or other drug addiction

• Advancing age

• Age-related degeneration

• Poor posture during daily routine activities like sitting, walking, etc.

• Incorrect weight lifting techniques even in day to day activities like lifting water bucket etc.

• Occupational hazards like repetitive bending and lifting

• Trauma to the back

• Genetic inheritance

• Improper Gym training

Symptoms of disc problems

The symptoms and severity of disc problems specifically depend upon the location and extent of the damage. Some people may not show any symptom while others may present with any of the following:

• Pain in the back that can occur all of sudden or on mild activity

• Pain that worsens on bending over or sitting down for a long time and with activities like coughing or sneezing

• Pain radiating down the legs

• Tingling or numbness

• Neurological symptoms like weakness, numbness, or tingling sensations in the extremities leg, foot, arm, or hand

• Patient may complain of “sharpshooting current like sensation”

Types of disc problems

The most common disc-related problems include the following:

• Degenerative disc disease which is usually Age-related

• Ruptured or slipped or herniated disc can occur at any age but usually in young

Diagnosis of Spinal Disc problems

Diagnosis of spinal disc problems plays a very crucial role in deciding the appropriate treatment that can give maximum relief to the patient.

It starts with a physical examination of the patient by the physician to evaluate the location and extent of pain. Neurological examination is also done to check the reflexes, muscle strength, walking ability, and response to stimuli. This may give a fair idea to the physician about the damage but the following diagnostic tests are most of the times performed to confirm the diagnosis and start appropriate treatment:

• X-rays • Computerized tomography (CT scan)

• Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)

• Myelogram • Electromyograms

• Nerve conduction studies



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