Herniated disc and pinched nerve —symptoms and treatments

If you have a herniated disc that is causing a pinched nerve it can have a severe effect on your life. This condition can disrupt time with family, lead to missed days of work and make it hard to accomplish simple tasks that you used to take for granted like preparing a meal or working in the yard.

However, treatment that offers lasting relief and a return to regular activity is possible for this condition. By learning more about how a herniated disc causes a pinched, or compressed, nerve and the symptoms and treatments available, you can give yourself the best chance of getting back to the people and activities you love.

Herniated disc overview

A herniated disc occurs when the soft nucleus of a spinal disc begins to push through a crack or tear in the tougher outer layer. This can be caused by factors like age, injury or weight and is not necessarily a painful condition. However, the displaced disc material can narrow the already tight nerve pathways in the spinal column. If there is enough narrowing to put excessive pressure on the spinal cord or a nerve root, a pinched nerve can result.

Symptoms of a pinched nerve

Nerve compression can interfere with the normal functioning of a nerve, causing both local and traveling symptoms. Shooting or burning pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness can radiate along the length of the affected nerve. A pinched nerve in the cervical (upper) spine can cause these symptoms in the head, neck, shoulders, arms or hands. If a herniated disc pinches a nerve in the lumbar spine it can cause symptoms to appear in the lower back, hips, buttocks, legs or feet.

Treatments

Treatment for a herniated disc with nerve compression generally begins with conservative, nonsurgical techniques, such as:

  • Medication
  • Physical therapy
  • Alternating hot and cold compresses
  • Lifestyle changes like plans to lose weight or quit smoking
  • Epidural steroid injections

However, if these and other treatments are not able to relieve symptoms after fully attempted, you may be recommended to consider surgery.

Laser Spine Institute

If your physician has advised you to undergo an operation for a herniated disc and pinched nerve, consider a minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our board-certified surgeons+ use a less than 1-inch incision to access the spine, which allows our procedures to be performed on an outpatient basis.

Contact us today for a no-cost MRI review* to help you find out if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.

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