Herniated disc causes, symptoms and treatments

Suffering from the pain and symptoms associated with a herniated disc can be extremely disruptive to your quality of life. Once your doctor has confirmed your diagnosis, you may find yourself wondering what the causes, symptoms and treatment options available to you are. Herniated discs are spinal discs that have developed a crack or tear, allowing the disc’s inner nucleus to push out into the surrounding areas of the spinal column. As this occurs, the disc material can put pressure on the surrounding nerves or the spinal cord, potentially causing debilitating pain and chronic symptoms.

Causes of a herniated disc

The spinal discs, which cushion the vertebrae and absorb shock, are composed of approximately 90 percent water in a healthy adult. During the natural aging process, these discs begin to lose a portion of their water mass. This causes the discs to shrink in height, placing an increased amount of pressure on the outer walls of the disc. This pressure can cause the disc to bulge or herniate. Herniated discs are also often referred to as a ruptured disc. Though this condition is not always symptomatic, when the disc material causes nerve compression or irritation, patients may experience chronic pain and symptoms.

Symptoms

The most common symptoms associated with herniated discs are related to the nerve or spinal cord compression. These often include:

  • Numbness
  • Weakness
  • Tingling
  • Neck or lower back pain
  • Burning sensations
  • Radiating pain

Treatment for a herniated disc

The first recommended forms of treatment for patients suffering from herniated discs are generally conservative in nature. These treatments often include swimming, physical therapy, stretching and massage. For a large number of patients these types of treatment are sufficient in managing the pain and symptoms that often accompany herniated discs. However, for others these options may not be as effective.

For those being recommended for surgery, Laser Spine Institute offers these patients a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery through our minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery.^ If you are suffering from a herniated disc, do not wait to find the relief you deserve. Contact Laser Spine Institute today for more information.

When you speak with a member of our team, ask for your no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.