Disc Herniation

Disc Herniation Q & A

What is a herniated disc?

Spinal discs cushion the space between your back bones (vertebrae) and allow your spine to flex and bend. These round discs are made of a tough, fibrous outer ring of cartilage and a soft, gel-like center.

A herniated disc, also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, occurs when some of the gel-like material protrudes through a weak or torn area in the outer ring. The herniated disc can press on nearby nerves and cause pain.

What causes disc herniation?

A herniated disc may result from a single injury or excessive strain, such as twisting violently or lifting a heavy object with improper form. More often, a disc herniates as the result of degenerative changes to the spine that occur naturally with age.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

Herniated disc symptoms vary greatly based on the location of the disc and the extent of the damage. If the herniated disc doesn’t press on a nerve, you may not experience pain or symptoms at all.

When a herniated disc irritates a nearby nerve, you may feel pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness to the part of your body served by that nerve. A herniated disc is a common cause of sciatica, or pain along the sciatic nerve that branches from your low back and runs down your leg.

How are herniated discs diagnosed and treated?

To determine whether you have a herniated disc, the team at Specialists in Spine Surgery reviews your medical history and performs a physical exam. They may take tests, such as a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan to confirm your diagnosis.

Then, your Specialists in Spine Surgery provider discusses the best treatment options for you. Most neck and back pain associated with a herniated disc lessens with nonsurgical treatments, such as:
• Activity modification
• Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
• Steroid injections
• Physical therapy

If conservative treatments fail to relieve your pain and symptoms, the team at Specialists in Spine Surgery may recommend a surgical procedure, such as a microdiscectomy.

The board-certified surgeons at Specialists in Spine Surgery use minimally invasive techniques whenever possible.

For high-quality disc herniation treatment, call Specialists in Spine Surgery TODAY!

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