People often think that the disks are soft and flexible and this is a mistake. The disk starts off soft in childhood and gradually hardens during a lifetime.
By far the majority of disk injuries occur in the lower back. Not all slipped disks press on nerves, however, and for this reason, your doctor will usually order an x-ray to view the problem.
Injury and everyday activity can cause disk problems. Sometimes, though, there is no apparent cause.
Aging is often a cause of disk problems, as the fibrous tissue of the disk becomes harder and more brittle. Severe cases may be the result of a deficiency in collagen, the material that makes up cartilage, poor muscle tone and obesity.
Both conventional and alternative therapies will offer pain relief, rest, steps to reduce inflammation, and measures to restore strength and normal activity. Except in severe cases, herniated disks generally heal themselves, and surgery is rarely necessary.
Doctors usually prescribe bed rest (as any movement can increase the pain and discomfort) and pain killers.
If the disk is just temporarily distorted, the potential for complete recovery is excellent. If the outer membrane actually breaks and loses some of its center, however, the damage may be permanent unless more aggressive steps are taken.
Besides pain relief and rest, alternative therapies tend to focus on relaxation and gentle exercise.
Yoga strengthens back muscles and relaxation to aid in preventing disk problems
When to seek further professional advice