Where on the spine is a herniated disc in the back?

A herniated disc occurs when soft inner material of a spinal disc begins to push out through a tear or weak point in the outer shell. This is typically related to the natural aging process that causes the discs to lose elasticity and become less able to withstand the pressure being placed on it every day. This condition can occur anywhere along the spinal column, with herniated discs in the back, or lumbar spine, being particularly common due to the weight placed on this region of the spine.

Symptoms of a herniated disc in the back

A herniated disc is not necessarily painful and sometimes may only cause minor local irritation. But if the damaged disc compresses a nearby nerve root or the spinal cord, the following symptoms can develop:

  • Pain
  • Weakness
  • Tingling
  • Burning sensation
  • Numbness

These symptoms may be present at the location of the herniated disc or throughout the nerve pathway into other areas of the body. With a herniated disc in the lower back, these symptoms are often experienced in the hips, buttocks, legs and feet.

Treating a herniated disc

Patients diagnosed with a herniated disc after experiencing these symptoms will generally first be recommended by their doctors to attempt a course of conservative treatment. This can include periods of rest, taking over-the-counter medication and alternating hot and cold compression. In some cases physical therapy, epidural steroid injections and therapeutic massage may be recommended. Surgery to access the spine and remove herniated disc material that is putting pressure on spinal nerve roots can become an option if weeks or months of conservative treatment has not brought the relief needed for a good quality of life.

Patients with a herniated disc in the back being recommended for surgery should know about the full range of surgical options available. To learn about the minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery available to help treat a herniated disc, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization surgeries have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain since 2005.

Contact us today for a no-cost review of your MRI report or CT scan* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.

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