General herniated disc information — what disc herniation is, who gets it and how it can be treated

Virtually everyone has heard of someone having a herniated disc, but they might not understand what the condition means. The spine includes cushioning discs that are made of two components, an inner gelatinous core and an outer fibrous casing. A herniated disc occurs when the outer layer tears, leaving the core to leak out of the disc and into the spinal column.

Who has herniated discs?

A herniated disc can occur in nearly anyone’s spine, due to the stress that everyday movement can place upon the structure. Discs usually become herniated under normal wear and tear, and they are most common in people who have reached middle age. Nonetheless, people of all ages can develop this condition.

Young athletes are diagnosed with herniated discs regularly because they repetitively strain their bodies in their pursuits. Everyone from basketball player Dwight Howard to baseball pitcher Bobby Parnell have coped with the effects of herniated discs, which can take even the most skilled players out of the game and may require surgery to remedy. Considering how common these spinal injuries are among all segments of the population, it’s wise to know the symptoms of a herniated disc.

What kind of symptoms does a herniated disc cause?

Herniated discs do not generally cause severe symptoms by themselves. However, these discs can cause painful symptoms when they interfere with nerve tissue. People with herniated disc symptoms generally feel a tingling sensation, numbness or muscle weakness in the extremities.

There are many conservative treatment options available to patients with herniated discs, such as taking pain medications, wearing braces and applying hot and cold compresses. Always consult with your doctor to develop a care plan that is best for your needs. If these herniated disc treatments do not provide sufficient relief, patients may also consider surgical options, including the minimally invasive procedures offered by Laser Spine Institute.

As the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, we offer both minimally invasive decompression and minimally invasive stabilization procedures to treat herniated discs. Our procedures are performed on an outpatient basis that eliminate hospital-associated costs and help patients get back to their lives faster. Contact us to learn more about our innovative procedures and to submit your MRI or CT scan for review.

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