The Sudden of Slipped Disc

Symptoms and diagnosis for slipped disc

By Neurosurgery Singapore

Slipped Disc info 2

When should it be considered as slipped disc?

Slipped disc requires Neurologist to diagnose. Often pain is pain felt in the back. The back is divided into middle back pain (thoracic), lower back pain (lumbar) or coccydynia (tailbone or sacral pain) based on the segment affected.

The spine area is the most common area for pain, as it supports most of the weight in the upper body. Episodes of back pain may be acute, sub-acute, or chronic depending on the duration. The pain may be characterized as a dull ache, shooting or piercing pain, or a burning sensation. Discomfort can radiate into the arms and hands as well as the legs or feet, and may include numbness, or weakness in the legs and arms. 

In more serious cases, the nucleus pulposus (jelly-like substance) may detach itself from the disc entirely and occupy the space in the spinal canal, causing severe nerve compression. Slipped disc is also know as herniated disc.

What are some symptoms related to slipped disc?

Slipped disc resulting back pain can have many symptoms, including:

  • Pain: The most common symptom of a slipped disc is pain in the affected area. The pain can vary in intensity and may be sharp or dull. It is often worse when sitting, bending, or twisting.

  • Numbness or tingling: A slipped disc can compress nearby nerves, leading to numbness, tingling, or a pins-and-needles sensation in the affected area. This is often felt in the back, neck, arms, or legs.

  • Weakness: Muscles affected by compressed nerves may become weak. This can lead to difficulty lifting objects, walking, or performing other activities that require strength.

  • Radiating pain: Pain from a slipped disc can radiate to other parts of the body, such as the buttocks, legs, or feet. This is known as radiculopathy or sciatica, depending on the location of the affected nerves.

  • Changes in reflexes: In some cases, a slipped disc can affect reflexes, leading to changes in how the affected muscles respond to anything that can trigger a physical or behavioral change.


The symptoms of back pain or backache, if due to strain or misuse, are usually short-lived but can last for days or weeks.

Back pain is chronic when symptoms have been present for longer than three months. Slipped disc however can be felt immediately and paralyzing.

“Most people with a slipped disc respond well to conservative treatment. Within six weeks, their pain and discomfort will gradually lessen.”

We have a solution to stop the pain. Click here to let us help you.

What types of treatments?

The treatment of slipped depends entirely on the cause of the problem. Therefore, it is of utmost importance that you understand the cause of your symptoms before embarking on a treatment program. If you are unsure of your diagnosis, or the severity of your condition, you should seek medical advice before beginning any treatment.

    • Pain relievers. Take pain medications only as directed by our Spine Specialist. Overuse can cause serious side effects. 
    • Muscle relaxants. If mild to moderate back pain doesn’t improve with pain relievers, our doctor might also prescribe a muscle relaxant. Muscle relaxants can make you dizzy and sleepy.
    • Topical pain relievers. These are creams, salves or ointments you rub into your skin at the site of your pain.
    • Minimally invasive procedures: Techniques such as epidural injections, percutaneous discectomy, and nucleoplasty are minimally invasive procedures that can be used to treat slipped discs. These procedures are less invasive than traditional surgery and typically have a shorter recovery time.

      Physical therapy and exercise

      Our physical therapist can apply a variety of treatments, such as heat, ultrasound, electrical stimulation and muscle-release techniques, to your back muscles and soft tissues to reduce pain.

      As spine improves, our therapist can teach you exercises to increase your flexibility, strengthen your back and abdominal muscles, and improve your posture. 


      If you have unrelenting pain associated with radiating leg pain or progressive muscle weakness caused by nerve compression, you might benefit from surgery. Otherwise, surgery usually is reserved for pain related to structural problems, such as narrowing of the spine (spinal stenosis) or a herniated disk, that hasn’t responded to other therapy.


Things to take note if you have slipped disc

The key to avoiding recurrence is prevention:

  • Proper lifting techniques
  • Good posture during sitting, standing, moving, and sleeping
  • Appropriate exercise program to strengthen weak abdominal muscles and prevent re-injury
  • An ergonomic work area
  • Healthy weight and lean body mass
  • A positive attitude and stress management
  • No smoking

We love to listen from you

Call our Specialists!