Have I Slipped a Disc?


A slipped disk is really a misnomer. It’s not really a disk that slips out of between your bony structures, your vertebrae in your body. What a slipped disk is, or we call it a prolapsed, or a bulging disk, is actually a weakened structure in the outer layers of the disk in between the vertebrae. There is a jelly-like, or a gelatinous type of substance in between those layers. That’s there to help cushion the disk, and allow enough space for the nerve to come out without being impeded.

What happens in a slipped disk is that there is a weakened structure outside of the nucleus, the annular fibers, that allows the jelly-like substance to extrude, or protrude out of the disk against the nerve. The nerve will send pain down into the back part of the leg, or into different, what we call dermatomal areas of the body. We can tell which levels of your spine have been injured by your symptoms that you tell us. That helps us determine or diagnose exactly which levels have been herniated or prolapsed. You can have a disk issue without having a true prolapse of the fibers all the way out. We can help with either of those different types of scenarios, where we do physical therapy, or different techniques where we can help alleviate the pain of a slipped disk.