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Prolapsed Disc or “Slipped” Discs

The spine is made up of many bones called vertebrae stacked one on top of the other. Separating each vertebra is a circular disc.  Discs have a strong fibrous outer part surrounding a watery middle part. Excess lifting, driving or obesity weakens the outer fibrous part until eventually the soft, watery inner part breaks through. Often it is a seemingly minor movement that eventually causes the disc to herniate.

If the disc presses on a nearby nerve one feels both back pain and leg pain as far down as the calf or foot. The leg pain may feel worse than the back pain. There may also be pins and needles and numbness.

The commonest age to develop a prolapsed disc is between 30 and 50 years.

Regular gentle exercise keeps the spine healthy and flexible, greatly reducing the chance of a slipped disc.

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