Herniated Discs

Herniated Disc Overview

Herniated Discs is referred to as:

  • Herniated Nucleus Pulposus (HNP)
  • Prolapsed Disc
  • Ruptured Disc 

What is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc, also referred to as a herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP), prolapsed disc, bulging, ruptured, or slipped disc – is a condition that occurs when an intervertebral disc extrudes into the spinal canal. As a disc degenerates over time as part of the natural aging process, the inner disc material can extrude into the spinal canal.  The disc tough exterior is called the annulus fibrosus. The annulus fibrosus may tear open (or herniate) and the soft inner core, called the nucleus pulposus may bulge into the spinal canal. A lumbar herniated disc can cause pain to radiate all the way down the legs and into the feet. In the area of the cervical (upper) spine, the pain can radiate from the neck to the shoulders, down the arms and into the fingers.

Approximately 90 percent of disc herniation's occur in the lower back at the L4-L5 level (lumbar segments 4 and 5) or L5-S1 level (lumbar segment 5 and sacral segment 1). When a herniated disc occurs in these areas, it can place pressure on the L5 nerve root or S1 nerve root, respectively, resulting in pain and other symptoms. Herniated discs are most often diagnosed in the lumbar region of the spine, but cervical herniated discs (in the neck) are not unheard of and occur in about 10 percent of patients.

Oftentimes, individuals suffering from back pain due to a herniated disc opt for open back surgery, which comes with high risks, hospital stays, and a lengthy recuperation time.

If you think you might be suffering from the symptoms of a herniated disc, please check out our herniated disc symptoms page. Here you can review detailed information provided by spine experts.

Prevention of disc herniation involves following safe practices at home and in the workplace can help you avoid injuries of all kinds, including the most common injuries – those involving your back. This is why it's important to learn which activities you should avoid and which precautions you should take to ensure your back and neck remain healthy and strong. Visit our page devoted to herniated disc causes to further understand how to avoid back injury.

If conservative care is failing and you are missing the normal, active lifestyle because of a herniated disc, check out our page dedicated to herniated disc treatment. There, you can learn more about our minimally invasive procedures that can help you rediscover your life without back and neck pain

Herniated Neck Disc

A herniated disc in the neck is a common cause of neck and back pain, as well as discomfort in the shoulders, arms, and hands. A herniated disc occurs when one of the soft intervertebral discs in the neck break open and extrude material into the spinal canal. This disc material can apply pressure on nerve roots and the spinal cord in the upper spine, and the resulting interference with nerve tissue can cause pain, numbness, a tingling feeling, and muscle weakness.

A herniated neck disc (also known as a cervical herniated disc), is not as common as a herniated lumbar disc (in the lower back), but neck discs are still prone to injury and conditions like arthritis and degenerative disc disease. The pain experienced from a herniated neck disc stems from the location of the damaged disc and the specific nerve roots that are being compressed by disc material.

Eight pairs of nerve roots are located in your cervical spine and they are numbered C1-C8, with each nerve root serving a different area of the upper body. This being the case, a herniated disc in the neck can affect your •Head and neck (C1-C2), Diaphragm (C3), Shoulders, arms, and hands (C4, C7-C8), Wrists (C5- C6).

Fortunately, advances in modern medicine have made managing a herniated neck disc much more realistic. Depending on the severity of the herniation and the location of the disc, a number of herniated disc treatment options exist. At first, your doctor may suggest a conservative approach, recommending cold and hot therapy, prescription or over-the-counter medication, exercise, physical therapy, or even lifestyle changes.

If pain from the herniated neck disc persists, your doctor may present the option of surgery to help alleviate your suffering. Should this be the case, we offer a variety of minimally invasive, outpatient procedures to address neck and back problems, including herniated discs in the neck. Contact us to learn more about the alternatives to living with a painful herniated neck disc.

Herniated Back Disc

A herniated back disc or herniated disc is a common condition in the spine that can cause pain in the back and neck as well as throughout the arms and legs. Intervertebral discs – which are cushions of joint cartilage located between the vertebrae in the spine – are prone to injury and everyday wear-and-tear. It’s common for one or more discs to become weak and torn, allowing inner disc material to leak out and extrude into the spinal canal. When this happens, the herniated back disc can apply pressure on the adjoining sensory nerve root or the spinal cord, which may cause pain or discomfort both at the affected site and throughout other parts of the body.

Herniated back discs most often occur in the lumbar (lower) region of the spine (a region known as L1-L5) where the back has the most mobility and also endures the most stress. Here, a slipped disc can cause pain radiating from the lower back all the way down to the feet. This intense pain in the lower body is often referred to as sciatica.

Although not as frequent as a lumbar herniated disc, a cervical herniated disc (in the neck) is also a common source of pain. A herniated neck disc can cause intense neck pain as well as tingling, numbness, and weakness down to the fingertips.

If you suspect you have a herniated disc, it is recommended you visit your doctor for a thorough diagnosis. Once the correct diagnosis is made, often conservative treatment can provide relief for herniated back discs. These treatments may include: Hot and cold modalities, Over-the-counter or prescription medication, Stretching, conditioning, and strengthening, Improved posture and diet, Physical therapy

Diagnosis of Herniated disc

Herniated disc Diagnosis

Your physician may diagnose a herniated disc by MRI or disco-gram. The annular ligament tear may be visible as a high intensity zone on the MRI and dye may leak through a annular tear associated with a disc herniation on the disco-gram.

Risk Factors of Herniated disc

Herniated disc Risk Factors

Many wonder if herniated discs are inherited or if a loved one may develop a herniated disc. The primary risks factors known are aging and body weight. As a person ages past thirty years the disc is prone to degeneration as the disc dehydrates and loses elasticity.

Treatment of Herniated Discs

Herniated disc Treatment

The herniated disc may heal on its own with conservative treatments. In fact most herniated discs will never need surgery. Non-surgical conservative treatment should always be tried first. These may include physical therapy epidural steroid injections, hot/cold therapy, and medications for pain and inflammation.

If conservative treatment fails, there are a number of minimally invasive procedures that are alternative to traditional surgical procedures.

Alternative Treatment

The herniated disc may heal on its own with conservative treatments. Non-surgical conservative treatment should always be tried first. These may include physical therapy epidural steroid injections, hot/cold therapy, and medications for pain and inflammation.

Herniated disc Repair

Herniated disc repair is likely. If you are suffering back and leg pain from a herniated disc the tear may heal itself without surgery.

The process of resorption of a disc herniation can occur weeks or months after herniated disc. The larger the tear the more likely resorption will occur.

Surgery

If you cannot get comfortable then there are safe endoscopic techniques as minimally invasive alternatives to open back surgery that may make you pain free.

Herniated disc Treatments

Herniated disc may ebb and flow with the intensity of the pain and symptoms. Non-prescription anti-inflammatory medications and exercise may be sufficient to decrease the symptoms.

Conservative treatment from the physician for herniated disc may include more powerful anti-inflammatory drugs by prescription, cortisone injections in the epidural space, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, and continue your home exercise regimen.  When these options fail, spine surgery may be an option.

Before you make a decision about surgical treatment of spinal herniated disc, you should check out the modern minimally invasive options for surgery. To learn more about what we do or receive a free MRI review contact us.

Surgical Treatments for Spinal herniated disc

Many herniated disc treatments are available to relieve symptoms of herniated disc effectively, although there is no cure for this disease. The goal of a herniated disc treatment is to slow the progression of the disease, stop the pain, decrease other symptoms, increase joint function, and preserve range of motion. Your doctor will first assess the severity of your condition and factor in your age and overall health before designing a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Most symptoms of herniated disc are treated using conservative methods like exercise, rest, massage, ice and heat applications, or weight loss. Your doctor may recommend medications for spine herniated disc, which can be either over-the-counter or prescription, depending on the severity of the symptoms. More advanced cases of herniated disc may require physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, or spinal injections to alleviate pain and restore mobility. If non-surgical treatments for herniated disc fail to relieve symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery.

If your doctor suggests surgery as a treatment option, it’s always a good idea to explore all the procedures available to you so that you are able to make a wise decision about your health. If you’d like more information on our herniated disc treatments, contact us and ask us about our free MRI or CT scan review.

Traditional Back Surgery for Spine

Surgical treatments for herniated disc are used in cases where conservative, non-surgical treatments have been exhausted and the patient still has chronic and acute pain and limitation of activities even walking. Depending on the severity of the condition, the surgical treatment will involve decompression and possibly a spinal fusion.

“Decompression surgery" is a broad term used to describe a number of procedures that are designed to relieve symptoms caused by pressure on a nerve root or the spinal cord. During a decompression, a surgeon will remove any bone matter, disc materials or other debris placing pressure on the nerve root and spinal cord to relieve herniated disc symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in the back or extremities. Common decompression surgeries include laminectomy, foraminotomy, discectomy, and others.

Sometimes an open-back decompression surgery will leave the spine unstable or structurally unsound, depending on the type of procedure performed. In this case, the patient may require a spinal fusion. During a spinal fusion, bone grafts or hardware such as screws and rods are inserted into the spine for support and to force two or more vertebra to grow together as a single unit.

Spinal fusion and decompression both come with some negative side effects, and both are generally performed in a hospital using general anesthesia. These surgeries also involve large incisions and damage to muscle and tissue, so infection risk can be high and the recovery time can take up to a year or more.

You can receive minimally invasive surgical treatments for spinal herniated disc. These procedures use state-of-the-art technology to allow for a drastically shorter recovery time than traditional back surgery. We can perform these surgeries for herniated disc and a number of other back and neck problems. If you’re tired of living your life in pain, contact us to learn more about what we may do for you.

Herniated disc Surgery

The idea of herniated disc surgery may sound like the right choice when you feel so bad and cannot do anything you normally do.. Surgery is a life changing event that can affect you physically, socially, and in the wallet. It may affect your ability to return to work, and your activities of daily living.  It is important to learn as much as possible before you decide that herniated disc surgery is the right treatment option for you.

If your doctor has diagnosed you with herniated disc and is suggesting that herniated disc surgery may be a way to relieve your pain, some common procedures include:

  • Laminectomy – removal of lamina (the bony roof of the vertebral arch) and also the removal of bone spurs (osteophytes) that cause nerve compression
  • Foraminotomy – a form of herniated disc surgery that enlarges neural foramen by removing significant amounts of bone

Usually, the above options for herniated disc surgery are traditional, open surgeries that require general anesthesia, hospital stays, and longer recovery periods. If you feel that these may not be the right options for you, there are other alternative minimally-invasive procedures that can help you rediscover a life without pain. Contact us today to learn how and for a free review of your MRI or CT scan.

Non-Surgical Treatments for Spine Herniated disc

Non-surgical treatments are usually the first options a doctor will consider when managing herniated disc and other back and neck problems. Because conservative treatments help the majority of patients, doctors only recommend surgery as a last resort. Whether you’re suffering from sciatica, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, herniated disc of the spine, or any other back and neck condition, the conservative treatment options are often the same, and include:

Physical therapy is the first step in treatment of spinal herniated disc. Physical therapy may be a home program or a referral to a therapist.   It should improve flexibility and mobility while increasing strength. Typical physical therapy treatments include exercise, massage, electrical stimulation, heat therapy, hydrotherapy (aquatic therapy) and more.

  • Chiropractic care – Chiropractic care will likely include the adjustment of the spine in order to treat back and neck pain. Chiropractic care also includes many of the physical therapy modalities and exercises. Chiropractors employ such techniques as applied pressure, massage, and manual manipulation (adjustment) of the vertebrae and joints.
  • Pain management – Many types of acute or chronic back pain can be alleviated with such treatments as injections, drugs and medications, spinal bracing and others.
  • Alternative medicine – Alternative medicine is a broad term used to describe non-traditional therapies including acupuncture, acupressure, yoga, biofeedback, and more. Some people report experiencing relief from alternative medicine.

If you are interested in a non-surgical treatment for your spinal herniated disc, it is very important to check with your doctor before starting any treatment program. All treatments carry the risk of side effects and further injury to your spine and neck, so you should always remain in a doctor’s care throughout the treatment process.

General measures you may lessen the severity of the pain of spine herniated disc. These include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Maintaining proper posture
  • Remaining active and avoiding any extended periods of inactivity
  • Quitting smoking, as smoking impairs blood flow resulting in nutrient and oxygen loss in spinal tissues
  • Wearing comfortable, low-heeled shoes
  • Sleeping on a mattress of medium firmness to reduce curvature of the spine

If you’ve tried non-surgical treatments but are still experiencing back or neck pain due to spine herniated disc, it may be time to consider a minimally invasive surgical procedure.. For more information on the types of procedures we provide please contact us.

Medications for Herniated disc

In general your physician will prescribe anti-inflammatory medications for the spine herniated disc. These may be such medications as Motrin or Naprosyn, medications that work directly on the herniated disc. Short courses of cortisone also may be helpful. Another category of medications is pain medications. If the pain is more severe and not controlled by the anti inflammatory medications, pain medications may be prescribed.

If your herniated disc is rheumatoid herniated disc or another autoimmune type of spinal herniated disc, medications such as Methotrexate, Prednisone, and biologic disease modifying agents for rheumatoid disease (DMARD’s) are most effective for joint and spinal discomfort.

The pain associated with herniated disc can seriously affect your life, but you don’t have to live with it forever. If you’ve tried medications for herniated disc without success, there are other safe and effective options. Minimally invasive surgeries work to treat symptoms of herniated disc and other back problems with a high success rate.

Herniated disc Exercises

Neck Herniated Disc Exercises

Herniated disc exercises can be an important part of any physical therapy program aimed at relieving the pain that accompanies spinal herniated disc. An arthritic joint means that the joint has either degenerated or inflamed (spinal rheumatoid herniated disc), causing every movement of the joint to be extremely painful. Herniated disc exercises should, therefore, be aimed at strengthening muscles and ligaments around the joint so that a weight burden can be removed from the arthritic area – and at increasing general flexibility so that you can experience as much joint mobility and pain relief as possible.

  • It is important to consult with your doctor before attempting any exercise for your spinal herniated disc, as some exercises could make you worse.
  • Gentle range of motion of the Neck and back  gently moving the head from side to side, then practice bending forwards and backwards
  • Do small arm circles and pendulum swings can keep the lumbar (lower) and cervical (upper) regions of your spine flexible
  • Aerobic exercise: build endurance without doing high-impact activities by swimming easy laps in a pool or training on an elliptical machine
  • Meditation: Very light stretching and rhythmic breathing can help calm your mind and body.

Herniated Disc Pain Relief

If you are one of millions suffering daily with the pain of herniated disc you realize there must be a treatment for your pain. You should seek a diagnosis of your problem. It may be herniated disc of degenerative or rheumatoid type. It may be spinal stenosis causing pressure on your nerves to the arm or leg. There may be inherited factors that will influence your painful condition.

Herniated disc pain relief treatments might include mild chiropractic therapies that focus on the joints of the spine so that tension is released and circulation is increased. Strength-building exercises can help bolster the spine so that arthritic joints don’t have to support so much weight. Low-impact activities such as walking, gentle stretching, or swimming can help build endurance. Steroid injections may temporarily help pain that results from joint swelling and can also help your doctor to pinpoint the exact location of the afflicted joint.

If these conventional forms of pain relief do not prove effective, your physician may suggest that you consider a major open-back surgery. These surgeries may include Laminectomy or fusion surgery.  There are minimally invasive surgical alternatives to large open surgeries. Please contact us for more information.

Neck Herniated disc Treatment

Treatment of the neck herniated disc by your doctor will depend on the severity of your neck pain, arm radiculopathy pain, and limitation of range of motion. The most common course of treatment for neck herniated disc symptoms is conservative, or non-surgical, methods. When a patient’s neck mobility or radiculopathy remains compromised after conservative treatments, or if chronic pain persists, your physician may suggest surgery as an option.

There is no known cure for herniated disc, and most patients will experience long-term intermittent or it may become constant effects from this disease. When a person is diagnosed with neck herniated disc, or cervical herniated disc, most physicians offer options for conservative neck herniated disc treatment, including:

  • Physical therapy – Exercise to strengthen the neck muscles
  • Hot or cold therapy – Heat pads to increase circulation or cold pads to reduce swelling
  • Pain medicine – Over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as well as prescription pain killers
  • Anti-inflammatory injections – Cortisone or steroidal solutions to numb pain
  • Behavior modification – Avoiding activity that might exacerbate neck herniated disc symptoms
  • Chiropractic therapy – Including traction or non-surgical spinal decompression therapy
  • Others – Acupuncture, massage, cervical pillows
  • If cervical herniated disc pain deteriorates quality of life significantly after months of conservative treatment, they may begin to look into surgical treatment. Spinal decompression surgery is treatment of irritated nerve roots that become compressed as the spinal structure degenerates.  This procedure is designed to take the pressure off those nerves, thereby reducing irritation and pain.
  • Minimally invasive treatments of neck herniated disc treatment can help you get your life back.

Prevention of Herniated Discs

Herniated disc Prevention

There does not seem to be any means of prevention of herniated disc. Most herniated discs are of a degenerative origin and are not traumatic. The truth is most herniated discs are not symptomatic and even the large tears may heal with resorption.

The best prevention is to simply maintain good spinal health. A few tips are to quit smoking, exercise regularly, lose weight, and maintain flexibility with stretches.

Rheumatoid Herniated disc Prevention

Prevention of herniated disc is not completely possible. Herniated disc is not curable but the symptoms may be diminished by prevention of bending, lifting, and twisting activities that aggravate the herniated disc.

There are herniated disc prevention steps you can take to help lessen the chance you'll have to deal with this potentially debilitating condition. Staying at a proper weight, eating right, exercising, getting adequate rest, and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can all help to keep your joints strong and healthy, and there are some supplements you can take that claim to help joint health.

If weeks or months of these treatments fail to offer you lasting pain relief contact us... We have a variety of minimally invasive procedures that offer a welcome alternative to the risks and lengthy recuperation of an open spine surgery. Request a free review of your MRI or CT scan today.

Herniated Discs Types

There may be peripheral, central and radial types of herniated discs. If you are diagnosed with a herniated disc, treatment usually is non-surgical that may work very well in managing the symptoms of the herniated disc and even symptoms of nerve compression.

Cervical Herniated disc

A cervical herniated disc occurs with a disc herniation. The herniated disc is a tearing of the disc external surface that may occur with the aging process or with injury. The annulus may thin or bulge or weaken to the point that disc material may extrude into the spinal canal.

Herniated disc in the neck may cause chronic pain, and with a disc herniation or disc protrusion there may be nerve symptoms of Weakness, Numbness, Tingling and pain radiating into the arm.

The herniated disc may heal on its own with conservative treatments. Non-surgical conservative treatment should always be tried first. These may include physical therapy epidural steroid injections and medications for pain and inflammation.

If conservative treatment fails, there are a number of minimally invasive procedures that are alternative to traditional surgical procedures.

Lumbar Herniated disc

A lumbar herniated disc is a tearing of the disc external surface that may occur with the aging process or with injury. The L4-5 and L5-S1 discs are the most commonly affected.  The annulus may thin or bulge or weaken to the point that disc material may extrude into the spinal canal.

Herniated disc in the back may cause chronic pain, and with a disc herniation or disc protrusion there may be nerve symptoms of Weakness, Numbness, Tingling and pain radiating into the leg.

The herniated disc may heal on its own with conservative treatments. Non-surgical conservative treatment should always be tried first. These may include physical therapy, epidural steroid injections, hot/cold therapy, and medications for pain and inflammation.

If conservative treatment fails, there are a number of minimally invasive procedures that are alternative to traditional surgical procedures.

Small Herniated disc

When a small tear opens in the annular ligament it may allow gel-like nucleus pulposus to contact the outer ligament causing pain and even nerve symptoms. The herniated disc by itself will not cause pain but the leakage of the internal gel causes the pain.

A small herniated disc may heal on its own and conservative measures may speed it along.

If you cannot get comfortable then there are safe endoscopic techniques as minimally invasive alternatives to open back surgery that may make you pain free.

Herniated Disc Symptoms

When a disc herniates beneath the passing nerve root, it causes pain numbness and weakness in the nerve dermatome in the leg. This is commonly called sciatica.  A disc herniation in the neck may cause neurologic symptoms in the shoulder arm and hand while a lumbar disc herniation will cause nerve symptoms in the buttock or leg.

The pain from a herniated disc is usually worse when you're active and gets better when you're resting. Sitting, driving, bending forward, coughing and sneezing may make the pain worse. The pain gets worse when you make these movements because they put more pressure on the nerve.

Herniated Disc Pain

Pain from herniated disc is related to pressure on the nerve root causing arm pain with a cervical disc herniation and buttock and leg pain with a lumbar nerve compression.

Because of the anatomy of the spine, a herniated disc affecting a neighboring nerve root can be the cause of a number of symptoms, including back and neck pain, numbness and tingling in the extremities, muscle weakness, and more. For example, lumbar herniated disc (in the lower back) can cause sciatica and the sensation of “pins and needles" in buttocks, legs, and feet, while a pinched nerve in the cervical spine (neck) might be the cause of a burning sensation in the arms or soreness in the shoulders.

If you are experiencing pain from a herniated disc, the first thing to do is visit your doctor to diagnose the problem. A number of conservative treatments for a herniated disc are available.

If you cannot get comfortable with your herniated disc, then there are safe minimally invasive techniques as minimally invasive alternatives to open back surgery that may make you pain free. For more information, contact us.

Numbness and Tingling

Numbness and tingling with herniated disc is a common symptom. The thinnest and most sensitive fibers of the nerve are the sensory nerves and are the first affected and the last to get well.

The severity of the symptoms depends on the level involved and the degree of compression of the nerve. If in the neck the herniated disc may cause numbness in the arm and hand. While in the lumbar spine numbness may be in the leg or foot.

If you are experiencing pain from a herniated disc, the first thing to do is visit your doctor to diagnose the problem. A number of conservative treatments for a herniated disc are available.

If you cannot get comfortable with your herniated disc, then there are safe minimally invasive techniques as minimally invasive alternatives to open back surgery that may make you pain free. For more information, contact us.

Muscle Weakness from Herniated Discs

Muscle weakness from a herniated disc is a more serious nerve injury caused by compression of the nerve. This should be addressed more aggressively with an epidural steroid injection and if no response than early decompression of the nerve with surgery.

In the event of muscular weakness and a herniated disc you should immediately seek treatment from your physician. A short conservative care regimen may be tried more often a surgical treatment may be required to restore the strength in the effected nerve dermatome.

Sciatica from a Herniated Disc

Sciatica from a herniated disc is related to pressure on the nerve root causing arm pain with a cervical disc herniation and buttock and leg pain with a lumbar nerve compression.  Sciatica is a combination of pain, weakness, and numbness caused by compression of all types of nerve fibers in the nerve root.

Because of the anatomy of the spine, a herniated disc affecting a neighboring nerve root can be the cause of a number of symptoms, including back and neck pain, numbness and tingling in the extremities, muscle weakness, and more. For example, lumbar herniated disc (in the lower back) can cause sciatica and the sensation of “pins and needles" in buttocks, legs, and feet, while a pinched nerve in the cervical spine (neck) might be the cause of a burning sensation in the arms or soreness in the shoulders.

If you are experiencing sciatica from a herniated disc, the first thing to do is visit your doctor to diagnose the problem. A number of conservative treatments for a herniated disc are available.

If you cannot get comfortable with your herniated disc, then there are safe minimally invasive techniques as minimally invasive alternatives to open back surgery that may make you pain free. For more information, contact us.

Cauda Equina Syndrome

Cauda equina syndrome is a serious spinal condition that shares many symptoms with other less critical conditions, like a herniated disc. Cauda equina syndrome may be caused by pressure from a herniated disc or other space occupying lesion of the spinal canal. Unlike a typical herniated disc which causes back and neck pain, however, cauda equina syndrome can result in the loss of bowel and bladder control and even permanent paralysis of the legs, making it extremely critical that the condition is treated immediately.

Cauda equina syndrome is caused when all lumbo-sacral nerve roots, the bundle of nerves that extend off the bottom of the spinal cord in the lower back become compressed. Compression of the cauda equina (which means “horse tail" in Latin) can be caused a variety of ways such as a lumbar herniated disc, complications stemming from a traumatic injury, spinal stenosis (a narrowing of the spinal column), or even the presence of a spinal tumor.

The difficulty in diagnosing this syndrome often comes in recognizing the difference between a typical herniated disc and cauda equina syndrome. Where a herniated back disc can cause pain, tingling, numbness, and muscle weakness, symptoms of cauda equina syndrome can include more extreme disturbances, including bladder and/or bowel disruption and incontinence, the inability to urinate, numbness in the pelvic and groin areas, muscle weakness or loss of mobility and reflex in the legs, sciatica, deep pain in the lower back or extremities

Regardless of the cause of the condition, it is of the utmost importance that cauda equina syndrome is treated immediately. If you are experiencing these symptoms, call your doctor immediately or go to the emergency room. Correctly diagnosing this condition requires a careful review of medical history, a physical examination, and the use of medical imagery technology such as an MRI or CT scan. Failure to address the syndrome will have a lasting impact on your life, but with timely surgery the long-term prognosis can be extremely positive.

Causes of Herniated Discs

Most commonly disc degeneration related to aging with the addition of a tear in the annulus that allows the nucleus pulposus to extrude into the canal causing a disc herniation.

When this happens, the herniated back disc can apply pressure on the adjoining sensory nerve root or the spinal cord, which may cause pain or discomfort both at the affected site and throughout other parts of the body.

Your doctor may try outpatient treatments may include: Hot and cold modalities, Over-the-counter or prescription medication, Stretching, conditioning, and strengthening, Improved posture and diet, and Physical therapy.

Pain related to disc herniation not responsive to conservative measures may be treated with gentle minimally invasive procedures such as laminotomy or foraminotomy to decompress the nerve and relieve the pain of disc herniation.

Risk Factors of a Herniated Disc

To best understand the risk factors of herniated disc one should understand that herniated disc is a degenerative condition related to aging and seen more frequently in the female and older patients. Below are some more details on the causes of this condition:

  • Aging – Deterioration of joint cartilage can begin as early as age 30, but accelerates after age 50.
  • Gender – In general, herniated disc is more common in post-menopausal women.
  • Obesity – Excess weight put stress on the facet joints, contributing to cartilage deterioration.
  • Other Disease – Gout, diabetes, rheumatoid herniated disc, and infections can cause spinal herniated disc.
  • Genetics – A family history of herniated disc or other abnormal joint conditions increases your risk.

We have a variety of minimally invasive procedures that offer a welcome alternative to the risks and lengthy recuperation of an open spine surgery. Request a free review of your MRI or CT scan today.

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