Your spine is made up of discs that are designed like jelly donuts. With age or injury, these discs can degenerate and sometimes the center of the disc can herniate through the outer ring. When this happens, it is called a disc herniation or a “slipped disc.” The area between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae absorbs most of the weight of the upper body, making it the most common place for herniated disks to occur.
Some causes of disc herniation include aging, general wear and tear, injury, repetitive motions, or sudden stresses on your lower back. In order to prevent herniated or ruptured discs, you should try to avoid motions that use the muscles in your back over and over. It is also important to be careful when playing sports or engaging in other physically demanding activities.
Depending on where the disc is herniated, you may experience difference different symptoms. Symptoms also depend on how irritated the nerve tissue is. Symptoms of disc herniation include numbness in the neck, back, arm, or leg. If the herniation is large enough, another issue can arise. The disc tissue may also cause shooting pain on one side of the body if it is pressed against the spinal nerves that exit the spine where the disc is herniated.
The first step to treating a disc herniation would be an MRI or a CT. These tests will help Dr. Alexander visualize the herniation. Once he has a good idea of the extent of the damage that the disc herniation has caused, he will weigh several different types of non-surgical treatment. These include selective nerve root blocks, epidurals, intradiscal steroid injections, and physical therapy.
Non-Surgical Spine Center was established with the mission of providing patients and clinicians a non-surgical alternative in the treatment of spine and musculoskeletal pain. Utilizing the most current and innovative diagnostic and therapeutic techniques, our group offers patients a multitude of options for improving daily function and quality of life while significantly decreasing levels of pain. If you have a disc herniation, feel free to contact our office at 843-856-9669 or at our contact page.
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