Physio Centre


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Guinea Court, 6 Bell Street, Shaftesbury,
Dorset. SP7 8AR.

About Slipped Disc






A slipped disc can also be known as a herniated or prolapsed disc and it is more likely to occur in people aged between 30 and 50. It is found more often in men than women.

The spine has 24 vertebrae that are stacked on top of each other to form a column. In between every vertebrae is a disc and they are there to cushion the vertebrae when running, jumping, or any other strenuous activity. Any one of the discs can slip but it is more common for this to occur in the lower back.

The problem occurs when one of the discs between the vertebrae of the spine splits and the gel-like substance inside comes out. This "gel" then bulges outwards between the vertebrae, putting pressure on nerve fibres and sometimes the whole spinal column. The slipped disc can cause back pain in the local area or pain in the part of the body controlled by the affected nerve (referred pain).

If you are suffering from a slipped disc you may feel pain running down your leg. This is when the sciatic nerve is under pressure and it is known as sciatica. You may also have pain in your lower back that can be severe or an ache. Moving around may feel worse for you.

Sitting on an "easy chair" will make the condition worse as it allows you to make your back into a banana shape that will cause the disc to bulge further. Try and keep active and see if walking or swimming helps.

A slipped disc can be very painful but it can be eased with physiotherapy. Your physiotherapist can also advise on safe ways to lift heavy items to help prevent another slipped disc in the future.


Your physiotherapist will use Connective Tissue Manipulation and the Mackenzie Exercise Regime to reduce tension around the spine and change the mechanics of the disc. This will help return the slipped disc to its normal position and resolve the problem.

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