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Also known as slipped disc, herniated disc or sciatica. The discs are the shock absorbers of your spine. When they are injured the inner soft part of the disc can protrude out through a tear in the outer lining of the disc. This disc material can press on the nerves in the spinal column, injuring them through direct pressure and causing inflammation.
The most common age to develop a disc prolapse is between the ages of 30-50 years., twice as many men as women are affected. Prolpased discs occur mainly in the low back (lumbar) spine. Less than I in 20 cases of back pain are due to a disc prolapse, most are due to mechanical back pain. (see section back pain).
A slipped disc is characterised by sudden, severe back pain that is often made worse by movement and which can usually be eased by lying down flat.
Nerve root pain (sciatica) can also occur because a nerve is trapped or irritated by a prolapsed disc. Although the problem is in the back, patients experience pain along the course of the nerve, for example, down a leg to the calf or foot.
With a prolapsed disc, the sciatic nerve is most commonly affected. The sciatic nerve is a large nerve that is made up from several smaller nerves that come out from the spinal cord in the lower back and travels down each leg. The irritation or pressure on the nerve may also cause pins and needles, numbness or weakness in part of a buttock, leg or foot.
In rare cases, cauda equina syndrome can occur. This is a disorder where the nerves at the very bottom of the spinal cord are trapped. It can cause low back pain as well as problems with bowel and bladder function and weakness in one or both legs. These symptoms need urgent medical treatment to prevent permanent damage to the nerves that supply the bladder and bowel.
A large number of people can have a prolapsed disc without any symptoms if it doesn’t trap or irritate the nerve.
A doctor will normally be able to diagnose a prolapsed disc from the symptoms and by examining the patient.
In most cases, no tests are needed, as the symptoms often settle within a few weeks.
Tests such as x-rays or scans may be advised if symptoms persist. In particular, an MRI scan can show the site and size of a prolapsed disc. This information is needed if surgery is being considered
Sir I am suffering from. L4-5 problem since 2 years there is any treatment with out operation please help me.
It is very common for women to have heavy and painful periods or have a feeling of fullness in the lower abdomen. Although, it may not sound very alarming these could be the symptoms of uterine fibroids. These are the most common types of benign tumours found in women. The fibroids are basically some tissues and muscle cells that grow within the uterus, outside the uterus, or along the wall of the uterus. The fibroids are usually benign and asymptomatic and do not require any treatment unless they cause problems.
Know the causes
Though the exact cause of fibroid formation is not known, it is believed that the female hormones estrogen and progesterone have a role to play in their formation. Fibroids are formed only when a woman is producing these hormones and they are not seen in women in non-reproductive age i.e. before starting of menses or after stoppage of menses (menopause). If fibroids are persisting even after menopause or especially if increasing in size then it is an alarming sign. Such a fibroid needs to be taken care of immediately.
What are the symptoms?
Fibroids often remain quiet for long periods of time. They cause nonspecific symptoms in the pelvis and abdomen including:
- Fullness in the abdomen
- Low back pain
- Irregular menstruation
- Cramping with menstruation
- Painful sex
- Increased urgency to urinate
- Anemia, leading to tiredness and weakness
- Infertility Diagnosing the fibroids
When these symptoms are recurrent, it is good to confirm the diagnosis. This can happen with a pelvic exam followed by ultrasound scanning to confirm the size and location of the fibroids. A blood test also may be done to confirm anemia, which is common due to heavy periods.
Management of fibroids can range from doing nothing to periodic monitoring to surgical removal.
- If pain and heavy bleeding are the only symptoms, then pain killers like ibuprofen should suffice for symptomatic relief. Anemia, if severe, may require iron supplementation.
- Embolization is an option which shrinks the fibroid, at the same time preserving the uterus. The blood flow to the fibroid is cut off, thereby preventing its further growth. It takes about 1 to 3 hours and requires some bed rest after the procedure. There could be some pelvic pain and vaginal bleeding, which will gradually subside. The fibroids may grow back, but the benefits of keeping the uterus are definitely there. This is suitable in case of single fibroid with specific blood supply.
- The next surgical option is myomectomy, where the portion of the uterus which contains the fibroid alone is removed. This is done in women who still wish to get pregnant and in women who would like to retain the uterus. This can also be achieved laparoscopically( key hole surgery). In such cases, fibroids are cut into small pieces and then removed from the body. This procedure should be done by a doctor specialised in advanced gynecological endoscopy as all this cutting should be done in a bag to avoid any spillage of cells inside the abdominal cavity. This procedure is known as Laparoscopic Myomectomy with In-bag Moecellation.
- In women who have crossed their pregnancy phase, hysterectomy or complete removal of the uterus is advised. In these women, the bleeding and pain may not have subsided even after years of treatment with hormones. The growing fibroids could be pressing on the adjacent organs, causing pressure. This is the only definitive treatment and should be done in women have completed their family and don’t desire to be pregnant.
- Myomectomy and hysterectomy may be done laparoscopically or with an open method depending on the overall health, the size and location of the fibroids in the uterus.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Collectively grouped under the Ewing sarcoma family of tumors, Ewing's sarcoma is the second most common form of bone cancer, which is commonly seen in children and adolescents. Very rarely is it experienced in adults above the age of 30.
Typically forming in the bones of the chest, pelvis, head, back or trunk and in the long bones of the arms and legs, Ewing's sarcoma is believed to originate in certain kinds of primitive cells. When it begins to affect similar kind of cells found outside the bone, it is usually called an extraosseous Ewing's sarcoma.
1. Similar to all types of Ewing tumors, Ewing's sarcoma is generally caused by an alteration in a certain cell compelling a gene named EWS found on chromosome no. 22 to move over to a DNA section on any one of the surrounding chromosomes resulting in the activation of the EWS gene.
2. While it is not a hereditary condition, it usually occurs after childbirth, but no substantial evidence has been found as to why it happens so.
3. A bone breaks having no apparent cause
4. Swelling which may or may not be accompanied by a warm, tingling sensation
5. Fever resulting from unknown causes
6. Lumps or bumps which do not subside over time
7. Abnormal weight loss
8. High levels of fatigue
9. Tumors which have spread over to the lungs may cause shortness of breath
10.Tumors spread over to the spine may cause weakness or even paralysis.
Because the symptoms of Ewing's sarcoma can hardly be distinguished from symptoms caused by other infections or injuries, an early diagnosis is absolutely necessary for a successive treatment. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an oncologist and ask a free question.
Rubbery cushions (discs) between the bones (vertebrae) stack up to form the spine. When a nerve between the disc and vertebrae is pressed and inflamed, that condition is called herniated disc. The herniated disc is also referred to as the ruptured disc or the slipped disc. This is caused when the soft jelly is pushed out due to a tear in the exterior. Herniated discs can lead to an irritation of the nerves and result in tremendous pain. It may also cause the arms and legs to become numb and weak. However, some people suffering from this condition may not display any symptoms at all.
Herniated disc generally occur in the lower part of the vertebral column. The herniated disc may also be seen in the thoracic spine or cervical spine. The symptoms of a herniated disc include pain in the legs, feet, or the buttocks, pain in the shoulder blade, tingling of the feet, numbness of the feet and hands, muscle weakness, neck pain or muscle spasm in the neck. Most common causes of herniated discs are aging, excessive weight or lifting of heavy weight.
Prevention of herniated disc
- Herniated discs are very commonly found in people who are aged between 35 or 55 years. They are seen more commonly in the men in comparison to the women.
- A herniated disc cannot be prevented easily, but there certain things that you can do to reduce the risks. Maintaining the proper techniques of lifting is important. You should not be bending at your waist. You should always bend the knees and keep the back straight. This helps you to use your leg muscles which are very strong to support the weight.
- As the saying goes, precaution is better than cure, so here are few precautions that can be taken to avoid herniated discs. Practicing a proper posture can help in reducing the risk of a herniated disc. It is extremely important for an individual to maintain a healthy posture while standing, sitting, walking, and even sleeping. It is imperative that you stretch your muscles when you are sitting in one position for a long time.
- Another important thing to avoid is high-heeled shoes, as they are few of the most common causes of a herniated disc. It would be a good idea to go for flat and well cushioned comfortable footwear as they can go a long way in reducing the risk of the herniated disc.
- Exercising regularly can go a long way in keeping the muscles of the legs, stomach, and back very strong. You should try to balance your flexibility and strength by exercising regularly. The best form of exercise to avoid herniated disc or ruptured disc is aerobic exercise.
- It is true that as you start to age, the chances of getting a herniated disc increase significantly. However, if proper precautions are taken, the stress put on the spine can be effectively reduced, thereby eliminating the risk of a herniated disc. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
Women love the fact that breastfeeding can safeguard them from general illnesses such as cold and fever. However, there is a bigger pie to cheer about. Apparently, it has been found that breastfeeding can lower the risk of breast cancer as well. Not to forget, breastfeeding is extremely crucial for a baby. It can help him/her to increase immunity and stay away from major diseases.
Facts from major studies:
- A study published in the Lancet, 2002 showed that women who breastfeed for 12 months at a stretch can reduce the chances of breast cancer by a good 4.3 percent compared to the ones who did not breastfeed. The study was performed on over 1,50,000 women and brought enough substance to the theory.
- A study conducted on 60,000 women and published in the Archives of Internal Medicine reported that a woman who has a family history of breast cancer can mitigate the risk of breast cancer, if she breastfed before her menopause.
- A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute reported that women from African ancestry often develop an acute form of cancer known as the estrogen receptor-negative and triple-negative. Breastfeeding can significantly hedge the risk of developing this form of breast cancer.
- A collaborative study published in Annals of Oncology, a famous journal, reported that the chances of developing hormone-receptor negative breast cancer can be negated by 20 percent if a woman breastfed before her menopause.
How does breastfeeding reduce the risk of cancer?
Some researches suggest that women who breastfeed get fewer menstrual cycle compared to the ones who do not. This means low exposure to estrogen for breastfeeding women. It is a common knowledge that estrogen can fuel breast cancer. There is a second theory that suggests that breastfeeding makes the cells of the breasts more resistive to mutation. Therefore, the breast can block cancer.
There is the other factor of lifestyle changes. Women tend to do away with drinking, smoking, eating junk food, and leading an undisciplined life. Once these are given up and replaced with healthy lifestyle practices, the chances of breast cancer automatically come down.
How long should one breastfeed to refrain from breast cancer?
There is no concrete answer to this question. Most studies show that longer the duration of breastfeeding, lower the chances of breast cancer. But, in general, a year of breast feeding is a safe number and can reduce the chance of breast cancer by almost 20 percent, as revealed by many studies. If, however, a woman fails to breastfeed, there is no need to stress. A healthy lifestyle can go a long way in surviving breast cancer.
In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
I am 51 yrs. I am suffering from neck pain and headache last two years. My mri report says that c5-6 disc shows diffuse asymmetric bulge[more towards left side], causing effacement of anterior subarachnoid space and indentation of bilateral c6 nerve roots[left>>right]. Along with posterior osteophytes, it constitutes hard disc. What should I do? please help me.
Breast cancer is characterized by an abnormal multiplication of cells in the tissues of the breast. The disease is the second most common cancer in women, and mostly affects women in the age group 55-65. However, the disease may occur in men as well.
The exact cause of breast cancer is not known as of now. Some of the factors that influence multiplication of cells are your genes and the environment. Other factors such as late menopause, being subjected to hormone therapy post-menopause and dense breast tissues can be other triggers for this disease.
The symptoms of breast cancer are:
- Discharge from your nipples
- A swelling in the breast
- You may have a lump in your armpits
- The skin around the breast may become flaky
- The skin around the breast may be irritated
The treatment depends on the size, grade and stage of the breast cancer. The sensitivity of the cancerous cells to the hormones in the body is also considered in this regard. The various treatment methods are:
- Surgery: There are multiple types of surgeries which may be used to treat breast cancer. In some cases, only a small area of the breast may be removed if the size of the tumor is small. Sometimes, mastectomy is performed where the entire breast tissue has to be removed.
- Chemotherapy: Chemotherapy is a type of treatment in which the cancerous cells are targeted by using certain drugs which are injected in to the body. However, chemotherapy has its own share of side effects such as hair loss, sudden and drastic weight loss and persistent fatigue.
- Radiation Therapy: This procedure involves using radiations such as x-rays to destroy cancer cells in the body. This procedure is carried out with the help of a machine that focuses radiation on the affected areas of the body. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!