Herniated discs, also called slipped or ruptured discs, are a common source of back pain and may affect any part of the spine. Along with back pain, some of the symptoms of a herniated disc include persistent leg pain and weakness.
Vertebral discs are soft, rubbery pads between the vertebrae that act as shock absorbers and when healthy, they give the back flexibility so a person can bend easily. When a disc herniates or ruptures, the center nucleus, an inner-gel like substance of the discs of the lower back, pushes outside the disc and then toward the spinal canal.
Herniated Disc Symptoms
Some people who have a herniated disc do not notice anything unusual if they do not experience leg or back pain. The position of the disc may affect that symptoms a patient will experience. A person with a herniated disc in the neck may experience pain in the shoulders, arms and chest. A herniated disc in the lower back may cause weakness, numbness, or tingling in one of the legs, buttock or ankle and foot.
Herniated Disc Diagnosis
The orthopedist will take a medical history and perform a physical to diagnose a herniated disc. During the consultation, the orthopedist will ask about neck, back or leg pain you have experienced, and whether you have been injured recently. A physical will show whether your nerves are also affected and how severely. Imaging testing like MRI, CT scan, and myelogram help pinpoint the location of the disc and determine whether or not it will respond to surgery.
Herniated Disc Treatment
Nonsurgical treatment is effective in treating most patients suffering with herniated discs, and many patients fully recover with time. Rest, muscle relaxers, and anti-inflammatory medication are often all that a patient needs in order to treat neck and back pain.
If these nonsurgical methods aren’t helpful, then epidural injections may lessen nerve irritation, allowing more active participation in physical therapy.
Surgical treatment is only necessary for 10 percent of patients, if they have progressive nerve damage, severe weakness or numbness.
Don't spend another minute suffering from the pain and discomfort of a herniated disc. At West Medical, we're happy to help offer treatment options for all of your spinal conditions. To learn more about herniated disc causes, symptoms, and treatment in Los Angeles, please call (855) 690-0565.
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