About Herniated Disc
A Damaged Spinal DiscAt miVIP Surgery Centers, we understand that the back is the body’s main support. When an individual’s spine is damaged, it can cause severe pain and a diminished quality of life. One common disorder that we often treat is a herniated disc.
In between each vertebra is a cushiony support called a spinal disc. It is filled with a viscous material that helps the disc act as a sort of shock absorber as people go about their daily, active lives. The discs also help the spine remain flexible. Whenever the disc is damaged, it runs the risk of breaking open or pushing out some of the inner fluid. This causes irritation to the nerves and can be quite painful.
How Common is a Herniated Disc?Approximately one third of all adults over the age of 20 show signs of a herniated disc. However, only about 3 percent of those disc problems actually cause symptoms.
What Causes a Herniated Disc?Herniated discs are often caused by:
- Age – Due to normal aging, the discs can dry out and lose flexibility
- Injury – Trauma to the back or neck can cause small tears in the disc’s outer layer. This often encourages the disc’s inner gel to leak out.
Symptoms Attributed to a Herniated DiscHerniated disc symptoms include:
- Pain in the back, buttock, neck or leg (depending on the damaged area)
- Numbness in the extremities
- Weakness in the extremities
Proper Way to Treat a Herniated DiscDepending on the severity of the issue, a herniated disc may be treated in the following ways:
- Rest – If the pain is severe then rest is necessary. However, staying in bed for more than 2 days can actually cause greater issues as it weakens the muscles.
- Heat – Using a heating pad for 15 minutes every 3 hours has helped many patients. Daily, warm showers in conjunction with the heating pad are also often effective. Some patients prefer alternating heat and cold every several hours.
- Exercise – Physical therapy exercises to strengthen the spine can help reduce pain and prevent future injury.
- Surgery – Often spinal surgery is required to create a better quality of life and reduce excessive pain. Our spinal surgeons are always up-to-date on all of the most innovative surgeries available to promote quick recovery time with longer-lasting results.