Herniated Disc Q & A
What is a herniated disc?
In-between the vertebrae of your spine are gel-like discs that absorb the impact of your movements and protect the stability of your spine.
While these discs are tough and durable, degenerative changes in your spine that are common with age or result from a spinal injury can cause the outer part of the disc to break down.
This leads to herniation in the disc, where the inner gel pushes through the disc and presses on nearby nerves.
What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?
In the early stages of a herniated disc, you may not experience any symptoms at all. However, as the gel begins presses on the nerves, you can experience pain that feels like a jolt or an electric shock.
Pain can worsen over time and become so intense, you're no longer able to stay active or go about your usual routine.
Pain typically occurs in the area of your spine where the disc is located, such as your cervical spine (neck) or your lumbar spine (lower back). However, continued compression on your nerves can cause pain to radiate into your arms and legs.
How is a herniated disc diagnosed?
During your evaluation for chronic back or neck pain, your Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC specialist reviews your medical history and your symptoms. In some cases, they can determine your pain relates to a herniated disc based on the location and severity of your pain.
To confirm disc damage and rule out other potential medical issues, you may need to have imaging tests, like X-rays, a CT scan, or MRI. These tests allow your Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC doctor a closer look at the structure of your spine and provide information necessary to create a treatment plan.
What treatments are available for a herniated disc?
The goal of treating a herniated disc is to keep your pain well-managed and prevent a worsening of your condition.
Initially, you may benefit from physical therapy and at-home exercises to alleviate pain and keep you strong and healthy. Ice and heat therapy can also reduce swelling and control your pain.
If nerve compression due to a herniated disc is severe, your Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC doctor may refer you for surgery. The skilled surgical team uses minimally invasive techniques to remove the damaged disc and alleviate pressure on the nerve.
While surgery isn't right for everyone with a herniated disc, you can find out if you're a candidate for spine surgery during your consultation.
The medical team at Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC also offers in-office regenerative medicine therapies using stem cells and platelet-rich plasma (PRP).
This innovative therapy helps to regenerate healthy new cells to replace the damaged ones, offering you long-term relief of pain and increased mobility.
For the treatment of a herniated disc, contact Associated Orthopedists of Detroit PC by phone or schedule an appointment online today.