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Prolapsed Disc - Condition Overview


A slipped disc (also known as a herniated, ruptured or prolapsed disc) results when the shock-absorbing pads or intervertebral discs split or rupture

Discs are segments of connective tissue that separate the vertebrae of the spine, providing absorption from shock and allowing for the smooth flexing of the neck and back without the vertebral bones rubbing against each other.

The discs contain a jelly-like substance which seeps out into the surrounding tissue, causing local inflammation and pressure on the spinal nerves (and occasionally the spinal cord) where they exit the spinal canal.

Slipped discs most frequently occur in the lower back although any disc of the spine is vulnerable to rupture.


Disc Prolapse

Treating Lower Back Pain


Cause of Injury

Improper weightlifting technique. Excessive strain. Forceful trauma to the vertebral disc.

Signs and symptoms

Pain in the back or neck. Numbness, tingling or pain in the buttocks, back, upper or lower limb. Changes in bowel or bladder function (this is rare but should be treated as a medical emergency).

Complications if Left Unattended

Slipped or herniated discs require medical attention and evaluation. Symptoms of slipped disc may indicate other underlying ailments including fracture, tumors, infection or nerve damage, with serious – in certain cases, life-threatening – implications.


Stages of Disc Herniation


Immediate Treatment

Bed rest, application of alternating ice and heat. Use of anti-inflammatory and analgesic medication.

Rehabilitation and Prevention

Rest and limited activity for several days is usually indicated, though normal, non- athletic daily activity should be resumed soon thereafter to prevent atrophy and restore mobility in the spine.

Physical therapy may be combined with massage and gradually increasing exercise of the back after the pain has subsided.

Strengthening and flexibility exercises, proper warm-up, avoidance of excessive or sudden weight lifting and attention to good sports technique may help avoid the injury.

Trigger Points

Trigger points are often associated with back pain and active trigger points (glutes, piriformis, and abdominal muscles) should be addressed to prevent reoccurrence of the condition.

Long-Term Prognosis

Most disc injuries are resolved without surgery, given proper recovery time.

Though full restoration of strength and mobility may generally be expected, discs are vulnerable to re-injury, particularly for weightlifters and athletes placing significant demands on the back muscles, tendons and ligaments and on the spine itself.



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About Niel Asher Education

Niel Asher Education is a leading provider of distance learning and continued education courses.

Established in the United Kingdom in 1999, we provide course and distance learning material for therapists and other healthcare professionals in over 40 countries.

Our courses are accredited by over 90 professional associations and national accreditation institutions including the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB).

Full details of all international course accreditations can be found on our website.  

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We are honored to have received the 2017 "Excellence in Education" Award from the National Association of Myofascial Trigger Point Therapists.

Since 1999 Niel Asher Education has won numerous awards for education and in particular for education and services provided in the field of trigger point therapy.

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Niel Asher Healthcare course instructors have won a host of prestigious awards including 2 lifetime achievement honorees - Stuart Hinds, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, AAMT, 2015, and Dr. Jonathan Kuttner, MD, Lifetime Achievement Honoree, NAMTPT, 2014.

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If you are a qualified/licensed manual therapist or exercise/fitness professional you can expand your credentials with NAT certification.

In addition to national accreditation for continued education, each course that we offer includes "NAT Learning Credits". By taking and completing courses you can accumulate NAT credits to qualify for NAT certification.

There are currently 3 levels of NAT certification. Certifying NAT is a valuable way to show your clients that you take continued education seriously, and to promote your skills and qualifications.

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Niel Asher Technique

Since 1999 the Niel Asher Technique for treating trigger points has been adopted by over 100,000 therapists worldwide, and has been applied to the treatment of a number of common musculoskeletal injuries.

The Niel Asher Technique for treating frozen shoulder was first introduced and published in 1997 and has been widely adopted by therapists and exercise professionals working within elite sports and athletics.

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This trigger point therapy blog is intended to be used for information purposes only and is not intended to be used for medical diagnosis or treatment or to substitute for a medical diagnosis and/or treatment rendered or prescribed by a physician or competent healthcare professional. This information is designed as educational material, but should not be taken as a recommendation for treatment of any particular person or patient. Always consult your physician if you think you need treatment or if you feel unwell. 





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