A collapsed disc is defined as a disc within the spinal column, which serves as the cushion between the vertebrae, that has lost a significant amount of moisture content. The loss of moisture content causes the disc to lose its height and become compressed. Our bodies adjust accordingly to the loss of disc height in order to maintain mobility, but by doing so, it alters the bones in our spine. Our vertebrae subsequently begin to rub against each other, thereby possibly causing pain, numbness and tingling. This spinal condition can occur in any area of the spinal column, but it often occurs in the cervical (upper back) and lumbar (lower back) areas of the spine.
Causes of Collapsed Disc
Like all degenerative spinal conditions, a collapsed disc is commonly caused by age, especially since our spine develops significant wear-and-tear over time. Collapsed discs usually affect the neck/upper back and lower back of our vertebrae because those areas bear significant body weight or are subjective to stress via wear-inducing motion. The spinal stresses associated with everyday life gradually diminish the outer disc material, causing your disc interior to collapse and lose moisture content.
Symptoms of Collapsed Disc
When a collapsed disc occurs in the spine, it can result in aggravating/painful symptoms that include:
• Neck or lower back pain
• Radiating pain to the arms, upper thighs or lower legs/feet
• Numbness and tingling in the arms or legs
• Symptoms of a Herniated disc
• Symptoms of a Bulging disc
Treatment of Collapsed Discs
In order for a physician to diagnose your collapsed disc condition, a review of medical history and physical examination is necessary. Studies from an X-Ray, MRI or CT scan will also provide the medical data needed in order to determine whether the collapsed disc is the actual cause of your medical issues as well as its severity. Unfortunately, the disc degeneration is irreversible, but your physician can recommend treatment to alleviate the pain and symptoms associated with this condition. Treatment includes, exercise, physical therapy, medication and braces. Epidural steroid injections may also be considered. In the most severe cases, surgery may be recommended.