How Do I Know if I Have a Herniated Disc?
Have you been experiencing frequent, sharp pains in your neck or back? Or maybe a dull, constant ache in your buttocks? That shooting pain may require more than an Advil, and it may be more than just a pulled muscle or growing pain.
A herniated disc is a vertebral disc that has broken down to the point where the inner material, called the nucleus, has seeped through the wall of the vertebral disc. This then causes pain in the surrounding structures or nerves. A herniated disc can occur in the lower back, the neck, and occasionally in the mid back. Treatments for a slipped disc are minimally invasive and fairly quick, especially when you have a team of qualified spine specialists, like those at Orthopedic & Laser Spine Surgery, looking out for you.
How to Spot if You Have a Herniated Disc
Symptoms of a herniated disc are usually nerve related and will be felt in the extremities, depending on where the herniated disc is located. Nerve-related symptoms from a ruptured disc in the lower back will be felt in the lower extremities, whereas symptoms of a slipped disc in the neck will be felt in the shoulders, arms, and hands.
Symptoms of a herniated disc usually include numbness, tingling, burning pain, and a loss in reflexes and flexibility. As your herniated disc progresses, you may notice your symptoms worsen as well, becoming more frequent and more painful the longer it goes untreated. It is vital you reach out to a qualified spine specialist the second you begin to suspect your pain is resulting from something more intense than just an overstretched muscle.
How Do You Treat a Herniated Disc?
Herniated disc treatment most often begins in a conservative measure, incorporating anti-inflammatory medications, ice and heat treatments, exercises, and sometimes physical therapy. More often than not, this lifestyle adjustment is enough to ease the pain and resume life as usual. If you find you are still experiencing debilitating pains or that the pain initially subsided but has come back, your spine doctor may consider a minimally invasive surgery. Commonly, surgery is only considered once conservative treatments have been exhausted.
OLSS provides a wide range of treatment options. Our spine doctors are some of the most experienced and best trained in treating herniated discs, and we are able to perform many advanced treatments other practices are unable to offer. This allows our patients a plethora of different options when it comes to recovering from their herniated disc.
What Are the Common Causes of a Herniated Disk?
A herniated disk can occur when a person performs a physical activity that results in an excessive strain or injury. Below are the most common causes of a herniated disc:
- Poor nutrition: Nutrients are needed in order to keep a spine healthy, such as magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D.
- Genetics: A family who has a history of any spine diseases and conditions has a risk of passing that down through their genes, increasing their children’s chances of getting a herniated disc.
- Aging: Sometimes, the process of aging can cause the discs in your back to degenerate. The ligaments that hold it in place can also begin to weaken, naturally causing herniation.
- Spine trauma: Herniated discs can occasionally result from an injury of the spinal column. The injury can come from car accidents, sports, or repeated movements from work or exercise.
- Being overweight: Extra weight can cause vertebrae in the spine to compress and turn the disc in between.
Once you have injured your back or spine, it is easy to do so again. Exercising good spinal health will help prevent any future injuries as well as help sustain your recently treated disc. It’s important to bend with your knees and stretch before any rigorous exercise or outdoor activity, like cutting the grass or trimming your trees. For specific activities or stretches, it is best to consult with your doctor about your specific injury so they can personally recommend the best option for your body.
Schedule a Consultation With an Orthopedic Specialist Today
Orthopedic & Spine Laser Surgery has accumulated the best surgeons in their respective fields to create a welcoming and professional environment for all of your orthopedic needs. We can treat your complex aches and pains with minimally invasive and innovative techniques that make us a leader in our field. If you have experienced pain due to a herniated disc, we can help you get your life back on track and reduce or remove the pain you have been experiencing.
Don’t continue to suffer under the pain of an untreated herniated disc – schedule a consultation today. We can be reached at (855) 853-6542 or through our online contact form.