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Discopathy - causes and treatment

Updated on January 15, 2012

Discopathy - overview

Your spine is formed by bones, which are cushioned by spongy and little discs. When you are healthy, these discs would absorb the spine and keep it flexible. However, the disc can bulge when it`s damaged. This is called discopathy. Discopathy can occur at any part of the spine, but most often it is in the lower back.

Discopathy - causes and treatment

What are the causes of discopathy?

Discopathy in most cases is caused by:

- Wearing of the disc. With aging, your disc is not so flexible as it used to.

- Possible injury to the spine. This could lead to small cracks or tears hard outer layer of the disc. In case of this, the gel which is found inside the disc could be forced out through the cracks in the outer layer of the disc. This causes the disc to break open.

What are the symptoms of discopathy?

Generally "lumbar discopathy" relates to pains in the lumbo-sacral part of the spine who may fluctuate between one or both lower limbs. In order to get the exact location of the pain, it should be evaluated which nerve roots in the vertebral canal are pressed by the protruding fragments of the "disc". Necrobiosis could occur in more advanced cases, where chronic compression is the cause of disorders in the blood supply to the nerve root.

If the discopathy is not pressing on a nerve, you may have a backache or no pain at all.

If you feel week or have numbness in both leg, along with loss of bowel control or bladder, look after a doctor instantly. This could be a mark of a rare but serious disease called cauda equina syndrome.

Treatment of discopathy

If you want to recover faster, there are some steps you could follow:

- If you happen to have severe pain - rest! You can, otherwise, stay active - staying in bed for more than 2 days can weaken the muscles and worse the problem. Walking should help.

- A good advice is to use a heating pad on a medium or perhaps low setting for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 or 3 hours. Warm shower will also ease you.

However, always do the exercises that your doctor or physical therapist suggests. This way you will be sure that you will regain the former power of your muscles.

Discopathy video - symptoms and treatment

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      6 years ago

      If I feel WEEK, I run to the doctor :p


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