Disc prolapse/ Herniated Disc

A disc prolapse, also known as a herniated disc, is a medical condition that occurs when the soft, gel-like center of an intervertebral disc protrudes or leaks through the tough outer layer. The intervertebral discs are located between the vertebrae of the spine and act as cushions, providing flexibility and shock absorption to the spinal column. When a disc herniates, it can put pressure on nearby nerves, leading to pain, numbness, or weakness in the affected area.

The most common cause of disc prolapse is aging, as the discs naturally degenerate and lose their water content over time, making them more susceptible to injury. However, other factors such as sudden trauma, improper lifting techniques, or repetitive stress on the spine can also contribute to disc herniation.

Symptoms of disc prolapse vary depending on the location of the affected disc and the extent of nerve compression. Common symptoms include sharp or shooting pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness. The condition often occurs in the lower back (lumbar spine) or neck (cervical spine).

Dr. Pratik Dhabalia, like many healthcare providers specializing in orthopedics or neurosurgery, is likely to adopt a multidisciplinary approach to treating disc prolapse. Non-surgical interventions often form the first line of treatment and may include rest, physical therapy, and medications to alleviate pain and inflammation. Physical therapy exercises are designed to strengthen the surrounding muscles and improve flexibility, aiming to reduce pressure on the affected disc.

This could involve epidural steroid injections to provide targeted relief from inflammation and pain. Additionally, he may consider minimally invasive procedures such as microdiscectomy, a surgical technique aimed at removing the protruding portion of the disc to relieve nerve compression while minimizing disruption to surrounding tissues.


What are the initial steps in treating disc prolapse?

Initial treatment often involves conservative measures such as rest, physical therapy, and medications to manage pain and inflammation.

When is surgery considered for herniated discs, and what does it typically involve?

Surgery may be considered if conservative treatments fail. Procedures like microdiscectomy involve removing the protruding part of the disc to relieve nerve compression.

Can physical therapy help in the treatment of disc prolapse?

Yes, physical therapy is commonly recommended to strengthen muscles, improve flexibility, and reduce pressure on the affected disc.

What role do medications play in treating herniated discs?

Medications, including pain relievers and anti-inflammatories, are often prescribed to manage symptoms and facilitate the healing process.

Are there any lifestyle changes that can aid in disc prolapse recovery?

Lifestyle changes such as maintaining a healthy weight, practicing proper body mechanics, and avoiding activities that strain the spine can contribute to recovery.

Can epidural steroid injections help with herniated disc pain?

Yes, epidural steroid injections can provide targeted relief by reducing inflammation and alleviating pain associated with herniated discs.

What is the typical duration of recovery after disc prolapse surgery?

Recovery varies, but many patients experience relief within a few weeks. Full recovery and return to normal activities may take several months.

Are there any long-term considerations for individuals with a history of disc prolapse?

Long-term considerations may include ongoing physical therapy, lifestyle modifications, and periodic medical follow-ups to monitor and manage any recurrence of symptoms.

How can individuals prevent disc prolapse or minimize the risk of recurrence?

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, including regular exercise, proper lifting techniques, and avoiding prolonged sitting, can help prevent disc prolapse.