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What is a Slipped Disc?

Slipped Discs are more properly called Prolapsed Discs. The discs are the shock absorbers between the bones (vertebrae) in your spine. They consist of a tough, fibrous outer coat and a softer gel-like substance on the inside. What happens is that the outer fibres tear and allow the nucleus to protrude. They are popularly called ‘Slipped Discs’ although they do not really slip.

mage courtesy of stockimages at

mage courtesy of stockimages at

Why is it so painful?

If you are unlucky the protruding disc material will touch one of the nerves coming out from the spinal cord, sending pain down the leg. It is not the physical pressure on the nerve which causes most of the pain but the body’s reaction, that is both inflammation and also your own immune system attacking the disc material because it is unfamiliar.

What causes it?

Either a severe trauma, for example a car accident or a twisting while lifting injury. However, many patients will visit the clinic saying, “All I did was bend down to open the drawer and this happened.” The truth is that back injuries do not occur through such simple activities. It is often a build up of small traumas usually caused by our lifestyle that causes the problem. Bending over to open the drawer was just the ‘straw that broke the camels back’, so to speak. This is why prevention is so important for our long term health.

How do you know if you have a prolapsed disc?

You may experience very severe unrelenting pain in the back and down the leg. This can be dramatically worse with coughing and sneezing. Another sign is the inability to raise a straight leg when lying flat on one’s back.


As a Doctor of Chiropractic and Osteopath, Dr Vadi has been effectively treating thousands of patients’ spines for several years. His unique combination of both Chiropractic and Osteopathy are an extremely effective form of treatment for back pain. At first Dr Vadi will consult with you and give you a thorough examination. Once he has studied your case Dr Vadi will report back to you giving you a thorough understanding of what has happened and what can be done to restore you back to proper health.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts:

• Use a hot water bottle CAUTIOUSLY if it feels soothing
• Sleep on a firm mattress
• Seek specialist treatment as soon as possible

• Lay in bed for long extended periods
• Exceed the recommended dose of painkillers
• Lift anything heavy, especially while twisting

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