The following describes the symptoms, diagnosis and treatment of disc herniation. For specific information regarding your health and treatment options, please contact your Hurley physician or medical professional.
What is disc herniation?
A disc herniation is a common condition affecting the spine. It occurs when the soft cushions (discs) separating the bones (vertebrae) that make up the spine rupture or shift out of place, often painfully pinching the spinal cord and nerves. Disc herniation commonly occurs in the lower back.
What causes disc herniation?
Disc herniation is caused by disc degeneration due to aging, strain on the back, or injury.
What are the symptoms of disc herniation?
Common symptoms of disc herniation include:
- Moderate to intense pain in the back, often radiating to other areas of the body
- Tingling or numbness
- Muscle weakness
How is disc herniation diagnosed?
Your Hurley physician will conduct a complete physical exam and may order tests such as CT scans, MRIs, X-rays, electromyograms (EMG), nerve conduction studies (NCS), and/or myleograms.
How is disc herniation treated?
When dealing with disc herniation, it is important to rest the back and avoid physical activity. Sleeping on your side with a pillow between your knees, gently stretching and massaging the affected area, and alternating heat and ice packs can provide some relief. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin or ibuprofen, may be used to help reduce pain and swelling. Your physician may also recommend physical therapy, cortisone injections, or traction to treat your disc herniation.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to correct a disc herniation. There are several different types of surgical procedures. Your physician can make a surgical recommendation based on your particular case.