Q:

How do you know if you have a slipped disc in your back?

A:

Quick Answer

A person knows if he has a slipped disc by undergoing tests, according to Healthline. The doctor first gives the patient a physical examination, which involves checking the strength of the patient's muscles and where or if he feels pain when he moves a certain way.

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The doctor also takes a medical history of the patient, says Healthline. He asks him when the pain first began and whether certain activities or movements cause it to worsen. The doctor might also conduct imaging tests such as CT and MRI scans and X-rays. A test called a discogram is rarely used.

Once the slipped disc is diagnosed, there are several ways to treat it, says Healthline. The patient may take up a regimen of exercises that strengthen his back muscles. These exercises can be as simple as regular walks. He can also take over-the-counter drugs for the pain and refrain from lifting heavy objects or assuming positions that bring on the pain. If the over-the-counter medications don't ease his symptoms, the doctor is able to prescribe muscle relaxants, narcotics and drugs that ease nerve pain.

If these conservative treatments do not prove effective, surgery is an option, says Healthline. Surgery includes removing the part of the disc that is damaged, removing the disc altogether and replacing it with a prosthetic, or removing it and fusing the vertebrae.

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