The HNP definition most people can identify with is the term “herniated disc.” That’s because HNP is synonymous with this commonly used term. HNP stands for “herniated nucleus pulposus,” and describes the condition in which the gel-like inner material of an intervertebral disc – the nucleus pulposus – pushes through the thick, outer disc wall and extrudes into the spinal canal. This herniation is the result of the gradual deterioration of intervertebral discs as part of the natural aging process. Over time, cartilage and other components of the discs can break down, causing discs to thin, bulge or otherwise deform, sometimes to the point where they can become herniated.
Symptoms of HNP
Now that you have a grasp of the HNP definition, the next key topic is the symptoms associated with this condition. Interestingly, a herniated disc by itself is completely asymptomatic. In fact, depending on your age, you could have one or more herniated discs at this very moment in various levels of your spine. But how can that be if you aren’t experiencing any pain or other symptoms? The answer is simple – only when a herniated nucleus pulposus places pressure on a nearby spinal nerve do symptoms arise. These symptoms can include:
- Loss of reflexes
Once you’re familiar with the HNP definition and its symptoms, the next step is to discuss treatment options with your physician. Typically, he or she will recommended a variety of conservative, non-surgical treatments, such as physical therapy, hot/cold therapy, exercise, stretching, massage, chiropractics and others. For many individuals, these treatments are often very effective in easing the pain and other symptoms associated with HNP.
Minimally invasive procedures
Surgery becomes an option for some patients who simply can’t find relief through conservative methods. If you’ve failed to ease your neck and back pain due to HNP after weeks or months of conservative treatments, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our minimally invasive procedures are a more effective alternative to open back surgery and can help you find relief from neck and back pain.