Slipped Discs: the causes
Many people with slipped discs are unaware when they are in the first stages of such a problem.
"The causes of a slipped disc include chronic fatigue and damage, acute injury, and changes to the spinal curvature caused by incorrect posture," said Jin Tao, senior massage doctor at the Beijing Massage Hospital.
As it becomes cold, Jin's hospital has seen more and more patients with bone problems. There are also more people with slipped discs. "The coldness has an effect on people's energy circulation, making those who have poor blood and qi circulation feel worse," he said.
Slipped discs more often occur among young and middle-aged people, because of the formation of the spinal disc.
"The core of the spinal disc is colloid, which is protected by a circular net-shaped fibre structure," he explained. "Because young people have plenty of colloid inside the disc, once the fibre structure is damaged, the disc is likely to slip."
The disc usually slips backward or to the side of the spinal cord. When it slips to the side, it brings pain and a numbness to the leg. When it slips backward, it can cause worse problems such as paralysis of the legs and incontinence.
"Surgery is fairly mature now, but after three to five years, some people might have relapses," he revealed.
The Beijing Massage Hospital offers what is called "traditional therapy," a combination of anti-inflammation medicines, acupuncture and physiotherapy, plus massage.
The massage and acupuncture will be applied around the place with the slipped disc, usually the lower back, and to the legs and feet, as well as the sides of the back. The parts massaged are all those related to the lower back. It is believed that relaxation of the muscles can help promote circulation of blood and energy in the area, improving the situation of the spine disc.
The doctor suggests keeping warm in the season and maintaining the right postures to prevent from getting a slipped disc or having relapses.
Beijing Massage Hospital () is at 7 Baochan Lane, Xicheng District (7)
(China Daily 11/17/2005 page8)
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