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What precautions do I take for disc prolapse?

Q: I have been suffering from cervical disc prolapse C3-C4 along with slip disc in lumber spine. For cervical I underwent continuous traction for 7 days about 6 year back and had recovered after 2 years of painstaking precautions. The backache in lumbar area is a new development for past 3 years. Twice in a year I am out of action, and need bed rest to recover for minimum 4 days at a stretch. Even when okay, I cannot stand for more than 25-30 min continuously or sit continuously. How do I manage the pain and improve on my condition permanently? Few orthopedic doctors have suggested epidural Wycort injection. But this would be a temporary phenomenon and medication is through steroid.

A:The pain in the lower back may be due to backward bulges in this region, similar to those in the neck. It may also be that you have a developmental abnormality in the form of narrow spinal canal in the neck and lower back - the medical term for this is spinal canal stenosis. In the presence of such narrowing relatively mild bulges of the intervertebral discs can cause compression of the nerves. The following precautions may help: 1. Avoid putting stress on the lower discs. Lifting weights, shifting heavy furniture, squatting on the floor and bending the back are some such stresses. 2. Exercises to strengthen muscles around the lower back will help improve the internal support of the spine. 3. If your pain persists despite these measures or you develop weakness in the lower limbs or numbness, consult your doctor.

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