Disc pain is an ailment that affects millions of people throughout the world. It can also be difficult to diagnose on your own, since damage to the intervertebral discs in your back can often manifest as pain in a different region of your body. Have you ever felt tingling around your rib cage, pain in your thighs, or numbness in your hands? Surprisingly, this discomfort could actually be a symptom of intervertebral disc damage.
Relieving yourself of disc pain means educating yourself about its causes. Intervertebral discs are soft, springy pads located between the bony vertebrae of the spine. These discs are charged with the task of absorbing tension and pressure that is brought on by the body’s daily activities. As we age, these discs can begin to degenerate, rupture, and shift.
Discs are strategically located near extremely sensitive nerve tissue in the spinal column, including the spinal cord and its nerve roots. On either side of your vertebrae there are open spaces, called foramen, through which spinal nerves travel. If a damaged disc impinges on this neural passageway and constricts the nerves, your nerves will send distress signals to the brain, resulting in back disc pain. There also is evidence that the discs themselves can hurt, especially if acidic material from the inside of the disc leaks out and irritates disc nerves.
Common causes of disc pain can include the following:
- Bulging disc pain – caused when an intervertebral disc weakens and extrudes beyond its normal perimeter
- Herniated disc pain – caused when a disc ruptures and leaks its inner fluid into the spinal canal
- Degenerative disc pain – caused by a weakening of intervertebral discs due to aging
- Spinal stenosis pain – a general narrowing of the spinal column, primarily caused by any of the above conditions
Although your disc pain may prompt you to consider surgical treatment, surgery should not be considered unless you have first tried a conservative course of non-invasive disc pain treatment. Your physician should be able to recommend pain and anti-inflammatory medications, which can be quite effective in certain instances. You also may try mild chiropractic work, gentle stretching, or steroid injections. If disc pain persists and/or becomes more severe, there are options other than traditional, open back surgery.
Laser Spine Institute (LSI) has revolutionized endoscopic spine procedures that have helped thousands of people rediscover a life without pain, without the risks of traditional surgery. Contact us for more information about our minimally invasive, outpatient options that are highly successful in treating disc pain. To help you find out if you are a candidate for our procedures, we’ll be happy to review your MRI or CT scan, completely free of charge.