Slip disc


What Is Slip Disc?


A slip disc occurs when the soft, gel-like centre of a spinal disc protrudes through a crack in the tough outer layer. This condition most commonly affects the lumbar (lower back) and cervical (neck) regions of the spine. The spinal discs act as cushions between the vertebrae, providing flexibility and shock absorption. When a disc herniates, it can put pressure on nearby nerves, resulting in pain, numbness, and other symptoms.

Types of Slip Disc

Slip disc can manifest in different areas of the spine, leading to distinct types of slip disc. The three main types are:

Cervical Slip Disc

This type affects the neck region and can cause symptoms such as neck pain, radiating arm pain, weakness, and tingling sensations in the upper extremities.

Thoracic Slip Disc

Thoracic slip disc is relatively rare compared to other types. It occurs in the middle of the back and may cause pain in the chest, ribs, abdomen, or radiating pain along the trunk.

Lumbar Slip Disc

Lumbar slip disc is the most common type, affecting the lower back. Symptoms may include lower back pain, sciatica (pain radiating down the leg), muscle weakness, and numbness or tingling in the legs or feet.

Understanding the specific type of slip disc you have is crucial for determining the most appropriate treatment approach.

Symptoms of Slip Disc

The symptoms of slip disc can vary based on the location and severity of the herniation. It's important to note that not all individuals with slip disc will experience symptoms. However, when symptoms do occur, they can range from mild discomfort to debilitating pain. Common symptoms include:

Risk Factors of Slip Disc

Several factors can increase the risk of developing slip discs. These include:

Age: As we age, the spinal discs lose water content and become less flexible, making them more prone to herniation.

Occupation and Lifestyle: Jobs that involve heavy lifting, repetitive motions, or prolonged sitting can increase the risk of slip disc. Additionally, a sedentary lifestyle, lack of exercise, and poor posture can contribute to its development.

Genetics: Some people may have an inherited predisposition to slip discs due to genetic factors that affect the structure and integrity of spinal discs.

Obesity: Excess weight can strain the spinal discs, increasing the risk of herniation.

Trauma: Acute injuries, such as falls, accidents, or sports-related trauma, can cause slip disc


Understanding these risk factors can help individuals take preventive measures and reduce their chances of developing slip disc.

Causes of Slip Disc

Slip disc can be caused by a combination of factors. The most common causes include:

  • Degenerative Changes: Over time, the spinal discs can degenerate due to ageing, wear and tear, or repetitive stress. This degeneration weakens the disc walls, making them more susceptible to herniation.
  • Trauma:Sudden force or injury to the spine can cause immediate disc herniation or weaken the discs, making them more prone to future herniation..
  • Poor Lifting Techniques: Lifting heavy objects incorrectly or using improper form can strain the back and increase the risk of slip disc.
  • Repetitive Strain: Engaging in activities that involve repetitive bending, twisting, or heavy lifting can gradually wear down the spinal discs, leading to herniation.

How to Prevent Slip Disc?

While slip disc may not always be preventable, certain lifestyle modifications and habits can reduce the risk. Consider the following preventive measures:

Maintain Good Posture

Practise proper posture while sitting, standing, and lifting objects. Use ergonomic furniture and equipment when possible.

Exercise Regularly

Engage in exercises that strengthen the core muscles and support the spine, such as yoga, Pilates, and swimming.

Practice Safe Lifting Techniques

When lifting heavy objects, bend at the knees, keep the back straight, and lift with the legs instead of the back.

Maintain a Healthy Weight

Excess weight can strain the spine, increasing the risk of slip disc. Maintain a healthy diet and exercise regularly to manage weight.

Stay Active

Avoid prolonged sitting or standing in one position. Take breaks and stretch regularly to keep the spine mobile and flexible.

Quit Smoking

Smoking can contribute to degenerative changes in the spinal discs, making them more susceptible to herniation.

By incorporating these preventive measures into your lifestyle, you can reduce the risk of slip disc and promote spinal health.

Treatment of Slip Disc

The treatment approach for slip disc depends on various factors, including the severity of symptoms, the location of the herniation, and the individual's overall health. Treatments may include:

  • Conservative Management: Non-surgical treatments like physical therapy, pain medication, and epidural steroid injections can help manage pain, reduce inflammation, and improve mobility.
  • Minimally Invasive Procedures: Advanced techniques such as percutaneous discectomy, nucleoplasty, and laser-assisted procedures can be effective for specific cases of slip disc, minimising tissue damage and promoting quicker recovery.
  • Surgical Intervention: In severe cases or when conservative treatments have not provided relief, surgical procedures such as discectomy or spinal fusion may be recommended to remove or stabilise the herniated disc

Procedures Available for Slip Disc

CritiCare Asia Hospitals offers a range of state-of-the-art procedures to effectively address slip disc and alleviate associated symptoms:

Percutaneous Discectomy

This minimally invasive procedure involves removing the herniated disc material using a specialised device, providing relief and promoting healing.


Utilising radiofrequency technology, nucleoplasty shrinks and decompresses the herniated disc, reducing pressure on the nerves and relieving symptoms.

Laser-Assisted Procedures

Laser techniques can be employed to remove or shrink the herniated disc material, resulting in pain relief and improved functionality.


This surgical procedure involves the removal of the herniated disc through a small incision, providing long-term relief and restoring normal spine function.

Spinal Fusion

In cases where the slip disc is severe or recurring, spinal fusion surgery may be recommended. It involves fusing adjacent vertebrae to stabilise the spine and alleviate symptoms.

Our dedicated team of surgeons and medical professionals will guide you through the available treatment options, ensuring you receive personalised care based on your unique condition and goals.