Unfortunately, herniated disc pain comes in all shapes and sizes. Depending on the location and severity of the herniated disc, herniated disc pain can range from chronic back and neck discomfort to tingling or numbness along the extremities. Where some herniated discs may cause no symptoms at all and go undiagnosed for years, others are extremely painful and have a discernable effect on the afflicted person’s quality of life.
A healthy spine includes a disc of soft joint cartilage between each vertebra, which provides cushioning along the spine. Each disc acts as a shock absorber for the spine and allows for increased mobility, flexibility, and weight support. After enduring the daily pressures of life, however, intervertebral discs can deteriorate over the years and become more susceptible to injury. If a disc breaks open (or herniates) and spills its contents into the spinal column, it can often apply pressure, or even “pinch,” an adjoining nerve root in the spinal column. An impinged nerve root often signals feelings of traveling pain, numbness, and tingling along the length of the nerve,whether it goes to the arms and hands or the legs and feet.
Because of the anatomy of the spine, a herniated disc affecting a neighboring nerve root can be the cause of a number of symptoms, including back and neck pain, numbness and tingling in the extremities, muscle weakness, and more. For example, lumbar herniated disc (in the lower back) can cause sciatica and the sensation of “pins and needles” in buttocks, legs, and feet, while a pinched nerve in the cervical spine (neck) might be the cause of a burning sensation in the arms or soreness in the shoulders.
If you believe you are experiencing herniated disc pain, the first step is to visit your doctor. Depending on the severity of the pain, a number of conservative, non-surgical herniated disc treatments may be available. However, if you are not able to find relief from your back and neck pain, contact the award-winning staff at Laser Spine Institute (LSI) to learn about your options. As a worldwide leader in minimally invasive spinal surgery, LSI offers a variety of minimally invasive, outpatient procedures to immediately address your herniated disc pain. Please contact us to learn more and to receive a free MRI or CT scan review.