Whenever you experience back pain, the first thing you need to do is identify the cause. This can help you get appropriate treatment. One common cause of back pain is a slipped disk, which is known in medical terms as Herniated Nucleus Pulposa (HNP). This condition is defined as a rupture in the disks located between each pair of vertebrae.

HNP can either be lumbosacral or cervical in nature. Lumbosacral slipped disks are those that occur in the lumbar area or lower region of the spine. There are five vertebrae within this region, with L5 being at the lowest and L1 at the highest part of the lumbar region. Cervical slipped disks are those that occur at the upper part of the spine, specifically at your neck and upper back. This area is comprised of seven vertebrae, with C1 being the topmost vertebra and C7 being at the bottom part of the cervical spine.

When you visit your doctor with symptoms of a herniated or slipped disk, he will most likely check for neck and back strains, congenital bone deformities, degenerated disks, trauma, or weak ligaments because these are the most common causes of slipped disks. You may also be asked if you have recently done any heavy lifting, an activity that also often leads to such condition. As soon as your doctor establishes the fact that you indeed have a slipped disk, he will then move on to determine whether your case is lumbosacral or cervical.

Lumbosacral cases are characterized by either acute or chronic lower back pain that often radiates down to the buttocks and legs. The sufferer may also experience numbness, weakness, and tingling sensations in the legs and feet. Those who suffer from lumbosacral cases of HNP may also experience pain when walking and difficulty in straightening their backs. As for cervical cases, the common symptoms are rigidity of the neck, weakness, tingling sensations in the hands, and neck pain that spread down the arms and to the hands.

Your doctor may also ask for X-rays, EMG, tendon reflex tests, myelograms, and CSF. X-rays will allow your doctor to see if there is a narrowing of the disk space, while an EMG will determine the extent of involvement of the spinal nerves. Your tendon reflexes will then be tested for any abnormality and a myelogram is conducted to see if your spinal cord is compressed. Finally, a CSF will help your doctor check for any abnormality in protein levels.

Once all test results are in, your doctor can begin discussing a workable management plan with you. Management of HNP may include a diet with regulated calorie intake and increased fibre intake. Hot pads, pain medication, muscle relaxants, and orthopaedic interventions may also be prescribed to relieve back pain and the other symptoms of HNP.

Author's Bio: 

Ed Delaney has used lumbar support cushion. To see if a lumbar support could help you ease back pain and to learn more please visit: http://lumbarsupportcushion.co.uk