Slipped disc, also called 'spinal disc herniation', is a condition affecting the spine in which a tear in the outer, fibrous ring of an inter-vertebral disc allows the soft, central portion to bulge out and cause nerve root compression. I get many cases of slipped disc where patients don't even realize the severity of their condition. They come complaining of an ache in the neck ranging from mild to acute pain. It is only when the pain extends to other parts of the body that such patients realize the severity of the condition. What they had previously dismissed as a sign of stress and ageing is actually a more serious condition that needs treatment. In most of these cases, the cause of the problem turns out to be a herniated disc in the cervical vertebrae which presses on the spinal nerve, thus causing pain. Read more about causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of back pain. Causes Factors that lead to a slipped disc include ageing with associated degeneration, loss of elasticity of the discs and supporting structures, injury from improper lifting (especially if accompanied by twisting or turning), and excessive strain forces associated with physical activities. (Read: Diagnosis and tests for back pain) Common symptoms Symptoms of a herniated disc can vary depending on the location of the herniation and the types of soft tissue that become involved. They can range from little or no pain if the disc is the only tissue injured to severe and unrelenting neck or low back pain that will radiate into the regions served by affected nerve roots that are irritated or impinged by the herniated material. (Read: Lower back pain: Why you shouldn't ignore it) Prevention Prevention of slipped disc can be achieved by taking care of the following: Exercise: Core-muscle strengthening helps stabilize and support the spine. Check with your doctor before resuming high-impact activities such as jogging or tennis. Regular exercise can improve the overall strength and tone of the supporting muscles and structures. Low back exercises are particularly important to prevent recurrent back injury. Maintain good posture: Good posture reduces the pressure on spine and discs. Keep your back straight and aligned, particularly when sitting for long periods. Lift heavy objects properly, making the legs and not the back do most of the work. Use proper techniques while performing strenuous exercise. The worst possible combination of activities for spine is heavy lifting while bending and twisting simultaneously. (Read: Top 5 bad postures that can affect your health) Maintain a healthy weight: Excess weight puts more pressure on the spine and discs, making them more susceptible to herniation. Use of a spine brace during heavy lifting is advised. Its use is to keep back straight and encourage proper lifting technique. Naturopathy Naturopathic treatments like wax therapy, hot mud packs, hydrotherapy fomentation, Infra-red light treatments, pelvic packs, spinal baths, and acupuncture help along with other treatments.