What is a herniated disc?
There are rubbery cushions, otherwise known as discs, that are located between your vertebrae to make up your spine. These discs have a tough exterior with a softer center and allow you to move your spine around and bend over. When there is a tear in the tough exterior, the soft center can push through this tear, which is known as a herniated disc, slipped disc, or ruptured disc.
What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?
A herniated disc can be irritating to the surrounding nerves, causing pain, numbness, or weakness. It is most common for a herniated disc to occur in your lower back, although they can occur in your neck as well.
Sciatica is one of the most common symptoms of a herniated disc in the lower back. Pressure on the sciatic nerved can cause pain, tingling, numbness, or burning that radiates from the buttock into the leg and even into the foot. This pain can worsen with standing, sitting, or walking.
Cervical (Neck) pain can arise in the form of dull or sharp pain in the neck or between the shoulder blades. The pain can radiate down the arms to the to the hands or fingers. Numbness or tingling in the shoulder or arm is also very common.
The most common symptoms of a herniated disc are:
What causes a herniated disc?
There are various causes that contribute to a herniated disc. Natural aging can cause a herniated disc as the ligaments that hold the disc in place begin to weaken with time. A single strain or injury can also cause a herniated disc, with natural aging increasing the risk of a minor strain. There is also research which has shown that a predisposition for herniated discs can exist in families.
Other factors that increase your risk of a herniated disc:
How is a herniated disc diagnosed and treated?
Dr. Lloydine Jacobs will complete a thorough physical exam to review your history, symptoms, and a physical examination to locate the exact source of your pain. Once completed she may suggest you complete an MRI or X-ray of the area to confirm your exact diagnosis.
Based on your confirmed diagnosis, Dr. Lloydine Jacobs will create a personal plan of care to relieve your symptoms and reduce your pain.
Some treatment plans may include:
Not all herniated discs cause pain and discomfort, but when they do, the pain can be intense. Call Next Gen Orthopedics to learn about your treatment options!