Herniated Disc Q & A
What is a herniated disc?
A herniated disc is a condition that’s a common cause of both acute and chronic back pain. It happens because the inside of one of the discs between your vertebrae is protruding through its shell.
If the protruding section begins to put pressure on any of the nerves nearby, it can cause pain and interfere with nerve function.
A herniated disc could develop in any part of your spine but is most likely to occur in the lumbar (lower) section of your spine or the cervical (neck) section. Herniated discs are less common in your thoracic (central) spine.
Herniated disc pain affects the area of your body that the nerve serves. For example, if you have a herniated disc in your lumbar spine, it’s likely to cause pain in your buttocks, hips, and legs. A herniated disc in your cervical spine could cause pain that radiates into your:
Pain that radiates down your leg from your lower back is called lumbar radiculitis. Pain that radiates down your arm is called cervical radiculitis. As well as pain, you might feel numbness, tingling, prickling, burning, or weakness in the affected part of your body.
What causes a herniated disc?
One cause of herniated discs is a sudden injury or trauma that puts such pressure on your spine that the disc ruptures.
A more common cause is a deterioration in the discs that leads to weak spots developing in the outer casing.
Degenerative disc disease causes flattening and hardening of the discs, for example, which can make the discs more prone to bulging and eventually herniating.
There could also be a genetic influence, as herniated discs tend to run in families. You’re also more likely to experience a disc herniation if you smoke.
How is a herniated disc treated?
The team at Oklahoma Pain Physicians starts your treatment with conservative approaches such as:
Epidural steroid injections
These treatments are effective for most people who have bulging or herniated discs. If your herniated disc isn’t responding, the Oklahoma Pain Physicians team also provides expert surgeries for herniated discs.
What surgeries are available for a herniated disc?
The surgical approach used for your herniated disc depends on which disc is involved, how badly herniated it is, and other factors such as your age and general health.
Disc decompression relieves the pressure on the nerves. The types of procedure the Oklahoma Pain Physicians team specializes in include:
Disc denervation and decompression
Minimally invasive lumbar decompression
Percutaneous disc decompression
To find out more about finding relief from the pain and other distressing symptoms of a herniated disc, call Oklahoma Pain Physicians today or request an appointment online.