Three signs of an annular tear you must not ignore

An annular tear is when a disc in the spine has torn or ripped open due to constant pressure from the surrounding vertebrae. Typically, this condition is caused by the natural deterioration of the spine with age, with certain factors like weight gain and inactivity worsening the risk of development.

For many people, the symptoms of an annular tear develop gradually as the condition worsens. If caught immediately, this condition can sometimes be treated with at-home remedies, such as rest and hot/cold compresses. However, you should continue to monitor your symptoms because if they worsen, you may need to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Here are three signs of an annular tear that should prompt you to schedule an appointment with your doctor as soon as possible:

  1. Symptoms that stay the same — Typically, home remedies should make your annular tear symptoms better. If your symptoms are not responding to rest and over-the-counter medication, contact your doctor to schedule an appointment. He or she can recommend an annular tear treatment plan to help you get back to your normal lifestyle.
  2. Symptoms that worsen — If your symptoms begin to worsen despite your home remedies, you should contact your doctor to schedule an appointment. This could indicate that your annular tear is worsening, and you want to start treatment before your pain begins to limit your daily activities.
  3. Difficulty walking or sitting — Sometimes, if an annular tear is compressing a nerve in the lumbar (lower) spine, sitting or standing for extended periods of time can become difficult. This pain can prevent you from doing your daily activities, such as driving or household chores. If you notice any growing pain as you sit or stand, schedule an appointment with your doctor to begin treatment.

There are many conservative and surgical treatment options for an annular tear. Your doctor will recommend your treatments based on the severity of your condition and your medical history. If you are recommended for spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery has helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain. Our patients benefit from a shorter recovery time^ compared to patients who opted for traditional open spine surgery.

Contact us today for a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate for one of our procedures.