While an injury can cause a herniated disc, this common source of back pain can also develop as you get older. Desh Sahni, MD, at Capital Brain & Spine in Austin, Texas, is a neurosurgeon and orthopedist who can diagnose and treat your herniated disc to help you get relief from your pain. Call the office today or schedule an appointment using the online booking tool.
A herniated disc, also referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc, occurs when the soft gel-like center of your vertebral disc pushes through its tough exterior and presses on a nerve or your spinal cord, causing you pain. You can develop a herniated disc in any part of your spine, but they most often occur in the lumbar and cervical spine.
A herniated disc may occur from improper lifting or an accident, but disc degeneration is the most common cause. As you get older, the discs between each of your vertebrae begin to dry out, causing them to shrink and making them more vulnerable to damage. In the case of degeneration, one wrong twist or a mild strain can lead to the herniation.
Your pain may vary depending on the location of your herniated disc and the degree of the damage. In some instances, you may develop only a dull backache or have no pain at all.
A herniated disc in the lumbar spine often affects the sciatic nerve, leading to sciatica. Common symptoms include pain that travels from your low back down your leg and sometimes into your toes. You may also feel a burning or numbing sensation. The pain is usually localized to one side of your body.
A herniated disc in your cervical spine may cause you to experience pain and tingling in your neck or between your shoulder blades. The pain may also travel down your shoulder and into your arm. Numbness and tingling may also occur.
Fortunately, most herniated discs don’t require surgery. Dr. Sahni conducts a thorough examination to assess your condition and determine the most appropriate treatment plan. He may recommend conservative treatment to help you get relief, which may include:
If your pain and discomfort continue, he may add physical therapy, acupuncture, or chiropractic care to your treatment plan. Surgery may only be recommended if conservative measures fail to improve the symptoms caused by your herniated disc.
Dr. Sahni is a surgical expert and offers minimally invasive spinal surgical options to minimize incision size, pain, and recovery time. The exact type of surgical procedure you need depends on the placement of the herniated disc and its effect on your nerve.
For diagnosis and management of your herniated disc, call Capital Brain & Spine today or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.