A herniated disc is one of the most common causes of neck or back pain in adults, but many are not sure whether their neck or back pain is just a strain or something more serious. Knowing herniated disc symptoms can help you decide of you need to make an appointment with one of the Spine Specialists at Active Orthopedics and Sports Medicine.
Keep in mind that an early diagnosis allows treatment option options to work as quickly and effectively as possible.
#1: Herniated Disc Anatomy
Between each vertebrae in the spine are shock absorbing intervertebral discs. A healthy spine creates a canal for the spinal cord to travel from the brain to the lower back. A herniated disc is a disc that slips or protrudes into the spinal canal and puts pressure on the spinal cord or one of the spinal nerves, which is what causes pain.
#2: Herniated Disc Symptoms
Herniated disc symptoms may be seen in the neck, back, or extremities. The most common symptoms are:
- Numbness in the hands or feet
- Pain in the neck or lower back
- Tingling in the extremities
- Weakness in the extremities
- Pain that travels down the arm or leg
Recognizing symptoms and making an appointment is essential and early treatment of a herniated disc is always best.
#3: Herniated Disc Causes
Herniated discs can occur suddenly as the result of an accident or strenuous activity, but can also occur slowly over time as the discs degenerate or age. The most common causes are:
- A heavy lifting injury
- Accident or slip and fall
- A sudden blow or force to the neck or back
- Degenerative disc disease
Our Spine Specialists performs a comprehensive medical history review and physical examination and order and analyze x-rays or an MRI to make a herniated disc diagnosis.
#4: Herniated Disc Treatment Options
Nonsurgical treatment options reduce mild to moderate herniated disc symptoms and treat the condition causing them. Such treatment options include:
- Activity modification
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy
Degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis are chronic conditions. Treatment slows down or stops the progression of the diseases but does not cure them.
#5: Herniated Disc Surgery Options
A severely herniated disc that is causing chronic pain and has not responded to non-surgical treatment may require surgical intervention. The majority of herniated disc surgeries are now performed minimally invasively. Common minimally invasive procedure the Spine Specialists at Active Orthopedics and Sports Medicine perform include:
- A minimally invasive discectomy removes portions of the herniated disc.
- A minimally invasive fusion removes the herniated disc and fuses adjacent vertebrae.
Minimally invasive spine surgery uses only a small incision and therefore has a shorter recovery time than traditional open incision spine surgery.
Making an Appointment
Our Board Certified and Fellowship Trained Spine Specialists accurately diagnosis and effectively treat herniated discs using the latest in non-surgical and minimally invasive surgical options. If you are experiencing herniated disc symptoms, please do not delay a diagnosis. Contact our offices in Hackensack, Emerson, Elmwood Park or Montclair and make an appointment as soon as possible.