The intervertebral discs are the shock absorbers of the spine and are essential for the day to day as well as long term health of your spine and the nerves that run through and around it. Technically, discs cannot slip; however, they can bulge, herniate, collapse and even rupture.

Accidents or lifting are common ways of causing a disc injury, especially where severe forces have gone through the spine or where years of poor posture have weakened its structure leaving it vulnerable to damage with only the slightest amount of force. When the spine is forced beyond its natural limits, the ligaments, tendons and muscles that support the spine can become overstretched or torn. The bulging disc can compress the spinal cord and nerves and produce pain in the local area and areas distant from the site of the problem, this can be in the arms or legs or both.

Because of the serious nature of slipped discs, your family osteopath needs to see you quickly to ascertain where the problem is and how serious the injury is. Only after a full examination can a diagnosis be made at which point your osteopath will discuss with you the probable course of the injury and how best to resolve it. In some instances referal to a neurologist or orthopaedic surgeon may be required but only rarely is this the case.