Between nearly all the vertebrae in our spines lay the discs, they consist of a fibrous outer layer (the annulus) and a pulpy nucleus, these structures allow the spine to move in all planes, and act like shock absorbers. Most people have heard the term 'slipped disc', it is a simplified description of one of a range of injuries that can occur to the region.
With time, wear and tear can lead to narrowing of these spaces between the vertebrae, and the outer annulus can sometimes be subject to mechanical forces inducing a tear, causing the nucleus to ooze out, sometimes causing impingement of spinal nerves and sometimes even the spinal chord.
There are varying degrees of prolapse, and sometimes just swelling of the outer disc can mimic a prolapse. There are a number of orthopaedic tests can differentiate between a full prolapse and what is termed 'discitis'. Disc injuries respond well to accurately delivered osteopathic treatment, and we have also had great success using laser on many different types of disc injury.