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Treatment: Managing Slipped Disc

The first goal of treatment is to relieve pain by decreasing the muscle spasm. Doctors may prescribe pain relievers, muscle relaxants and bed rest. As the muscle spasm subsides, the pressure in the nerve root at the disc protrusion eases. A back support corset or lumbar support is sometimes worn during the initial stages to provide the necessary support allowing the recovery and repair to take place.

Most slipped discs respond well to this kind of treatment, and a carefully designed exercise program to strengthen the surrounding muscles can be very helpful in preventing future ruptures. This essentially is allows your body natural back support muscles to take over the external supporting role of the lumbar corset. This is known as core stability training.

In some cases, however, the pain is severe and intractable; there may even be nerve damage. In these instances, a neurological surgeon may have to remove the disc material. When the disc is removed, the pressure on the nerve is released, and this may rapidly relieve pain and permit restoration of lost muscle function.



  1. Stabilizing training compared with manual treatment in sub-acute and chronic low-back pain, Rasmussen-Barr et al,Manual Therapy (2003) 8(4), 233?41
  2. Achieving Spine Stability: Blending Engineering and Clinical Approaches, S. McGill, 4th Interdisciplinary World Congree on Low Back & Pelvic Pain, November 2001
  3. Morphology of the Transversus Abdominis, Obliquus Internus, and Obliquus Externus Muscles, Urquhart, Hodges et al, 4th Interdisciplinary World Congress on Low Back & Pelvic Pain, November 2001
  4. The stabilising system of the spine. Part I.Function, dysfunction, adaptation and enhancement., Panjabi MM,  Journal of Spinal Disorder 4: 383?89,
  5. The stabilising system of the spine. Part II.Neutral zone and instability Hypothesis. , Panjabi MM  Journal of Spinal Disorder 4: 390?97
  6. What exercise would you prescribe? Manual Therapy 1: 2?0
  7. Muscle control ?pain control. What exercise would you prescribe?, Richardson CA, Jull GA 1995, Manual Therapy 1: 2?0
  8. Therapeutic Exercise for Spinal Segmental Stabilisation in Low Back Pain., Richardson CA, Jull GA, Hodges PW, Hides J 1999  Scientific Basis and Clinical Approach. 1st edn. Churchill Livingstone, London



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