General herniated disc information — what it 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. Between most of the vertebrae in the spinal column are shock-absorbing discs that are made of two components, an inner gelatinous core and an outer fibrous shell. A herniated disc occurs when the outer layer tears, causing the core to be pushed 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 prone to develop herniation under normal wear and tear combined with natural age-related changes. People of all ages can potentially get this condition, but it becomes more likely as we get older. For example, young athletes can be diagnosed with herniated discs because they repetitively strain their bodies in their pursuits. Herniated discs are also associated with traumatic injury, such as a car accident, and jobs that involve physical labor, such as construction.

What kind of symptoms does a herniated disc cause?

Herniated discs do not generally cause severe symptoms by themselves. In fact, it is possible to have one without knowing it. However, these discs can cause painful symptoms when they interfere with nerve tissue. People with herniated disc symptoms can experience the following:

  • Shooting pains
  • Tingling sensations
  • Numbness
  • Muscle weakness

How can a herniated disc be treated?

There are many conservative treatment options available to patients with herniated discs, such as taking medication, 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 spine surgery performed at 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.

We can tell you how to receive a free MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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