Can you Really have a Slipped Disc?

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Can you Really have a Slipped Disc?

Here at Compass Physio we see a LOT of back pain. It’s the most common condition we treat so we are experts in this area.

This week we are going to talk about one of the most common misconceptions that we see as Physiotherapists and that’s “SLIPPED DISCS”

Have you or do you know anyone who has been told that they have a slipped disc.

Most people have heard of the phrases

  • Discs
  • Sciatica
  • Nerve

With regard to the Discs that make up a key component of our spine the perception is that they are weak and fragile.

Here is a sample image of the anatomy of a disc.

The disc is sandwiched between 2 end plates that are very strong indeed and act like a pressure plate to ensure that there is no slipping. The end plate is in fact attached to the outer layer of the disc.

Discs tend to bulge and the analogy that I use is of a jam donut. With time the discs can dry out and the jam in the middle can peak through the outer lining. This is a disc bulge and in more severe cases can lead to back pain that can include nerve pain

What to do if you have been told you have a slipped disc

  1. Get a 2nd opinion. As chartered physiotherapists we are often best placed to review your back pain and look at the big picture. Having a disc issue is common and often can be well managed with the correct treatment
  2. Keep exercising. The exact exercises will depend on how your symptoms present but keeping active and strong is a great starting point
  3. Consider Pilates. This is a great structured format to allow you engage those core muscles and get you on the pathway to getting out of pain
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To find out how Compass Physio can help, call 0419847545 (this number covers all clinics), click here to book online or download our free information booklet. You can also email any questions to

Paddy Mulligan MISCP
Chartered Physiotherapist
Compass Physio