Is Anushka Sharma’s Bulging Disc Condition Same as a Slipped Disc?
How is a bulging disc different from a herniated or slipped disc? Let’s find out about Anushka’s conditon.
How is a bulging disc different from a herniated or slipped disc? Let’s find out about Anushka’s conditon.(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/Filmfare altered by FIT)

Is Anushka Sharma’s Bulging Disc Condition Same as a Slipped Disc?

In a recent interview while promoting her latest film Sui-Dhaaga, Anushka Sharma mentioned in passing that she has the problem of a bulging disc. The actress added that she is taking care of herself and that it wouldn’t stop her from promoting her film.

To understand a bulging disc, it’s important to understand what exactly is a disc. It’s a cartilage structure which cushions the spinal vertebrae. It has an inner soft cartilage which is surrounded by a harder outer cartilage structure, according to Mayo Clinic.

A bulging disc occurs when the hard cartilage of the disc bulges out. This bulging often occurs evenly along the circumference and is often not more than a quarter or half of the perimeter.

A Bulging Disc and More

It’s common to confuse a herniated or slipped disc with a bulging one. A herniated disc occurs when the inner, soft cartilage begins to come out of its covering by means of a crack in the latter. However, the whole disc is not affected, only the space along the crack.

A slipped disc causes extreme pain, making it difficult for the patients for move.
A slipped disc causes extreme pain, making it difficult for the patients for move.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

According to Mayo Clinic, a herniated disc is likely to be more painful than a bulging disc. This doesn’t mean that all herniated discs are painful. There have been evidence of how MRIs have shown herniated discs, yet there is no pain to be experienced by the patient.

Funnily enough, a couple of months ago, there had been rumours of Indian captain Virat Kohli having suffered from a slipped disc.

The report, however, said that doctors did not feel that the India captain needs surgery just yet. On 23 May, he posted a video of himself where he is seen performing planks, making everyone wonder if someone suffering from slipped disc perform such strenuous exercises to begin with. Virat was eventually found to be suffering with a neck injury which had nothing to do with a slipped disc.

Also Read : You Are Being Mistreated for Your Back Pain: Lancet Report

While the Indian captain may have been given a clean chit from this specific back problem, it continues to ail innumerable Indians. Here are some symptoms to watch out for:

Symptoms

A slipped disc is most common in the lower back region.
A slipped disc is most common in the lower back region.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

A slipped disc may occur in any part of the spine. They are most common in the lower back region and the pain might spread to your hips, thighs, even to your legs.

Slipped disc is a very vague term. In many cases, there might a mild degeneration of the tissue which might be causing pain and weakness. In certain cases of acute pain, the disc material might be coming out from its position due to which there might be extreme pain in the legs.
Dr Yash Gulati, Senior Consultant, Orthopaedics, Indraprastha Apollo Hospitals

Dr Gulati says that it is very common for bowlers to suffer from this condition.

Patients are usually advised to rest since the pain from a herniated disc might get aggravated while doing physical activities. Activities like sneezing or sitting may also cause pain as they put pressure on the nerves.

Also Read : Text Neck: Is Your Smartphone Destroying your Spine?

Treatment and Recovery

In most of the cases, rest and physiotherapy improve the condition within a few weeks.
In most of the cases, rest and physiotherapy improve the condition within a few weeks.
(Photo: iStockphoto)

Treatment differs from case to case basis the intensity of pain, says Dr Gulati.

In cases of mild degeneration, physiotherapy will help build muscle. A patient can recover in a week’s time with proper rest.
Dr Yash Gulati

Simple stretching, aerobic exercises, ultrasound can also help relieve some of the symptoms.

In most of the cases, rest and physiotherapy improve the condition within a few weeks. Surgery usually performed as a last resort.

Surgery is only done in extreme cases where the disc material is coming out or there is extreme pressure on the nerves or the pain has spread to the legs. The recovery in such cases can take anywhere between a few months to a year.
Dr Yash Gulati

Acupuncture and Dry Needling: Alternative Treatment Methods

Back pain of different kinds is the number one reason for seeking acupuncture, according to this report. It further adds that acupuncture can be effective as well in addressing it.

Another technique which is similar to, but not the same as acupuncture is dry needling. This too is the process of inserting needles in the body to address pain in different regions.

Divya Sharma, who’s a sports physiotherapist, uses dry needling to address body pain in her patients and says it’s an effective tool for easing the muscles that remain contracted for long period of time, often leading to lower back pain.

Trigger points in muscles cause pain which is managed effectively using dry needling. Dry needling is a western technique where the needles are inserted into the trigger point of the muscle to “unknot” the muscle. In acupuncture the needle is inserted into the corresponding meridian that represents the muscle. Both techniques aim to improve the “chi” (energy) of the muscle.
Divya Sharma

Speaking specifically in the context of slipped disc, she further adds:

In a slipped disc it will most likely compress the exiting nerve root causing a higher degree of muscle spasm and radiating pain in the lower limb. In this case dry needling must be introduced when the initial pain is reduced by rest, but the muscle continues to remain in a state of spasm.

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