About Herniated Discs
What is it and what are my treatment options?
Herniated Disc Overview
Discs are shock absorbers that lie between adjacent vertebrae. A herniated disc is a disc that protrudes into the spinal canal and pinches a spinal nerve root. A herniated disc and accompanying symptoms do not improve on their own. An appointment with a Carolina Orthopaedic and Neurosurgical Associates’ (CONA) should be made as soon as symptoms present.
Symptoms & Causes
Herniated disc symptoms include:
- Burning pain
- Extremity numbness, tingling or weakness
- Neck or back pain
- Neck or back weakness
Common herniated disc causes include:
- Age-related disc degeneration
Herniated disc risk factors include:
- Excess body weight
- Sports, activities
Nonsurgical treatment options may relieve herniated disc symptoms. After a thorough evaluation, a CONA shoulder specialist may recommend:
- Activity modification (slowing down or stopping activities and movements that cause pain)
- A back brace
- A soft collar neck brace
- Corticosteroid injections
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs)
- Physical therapy
- Rest and ice
Minimally invasive surgery may be recommended to treat a severely herniated disc. A CONA specialist (1) removes pieces of the herniated disc that pinch the nerve root or (2) removes the herniated disc and fuses adjacent spinal vertebrae.
A CONA specialist:
- Asks important questions about the patient’s condition and symptoms
- Obtains a complete medical history
- Performs thorough neurological and physical examinations
- Orders and analyzes x-rays and an MRI
- Makes an accurate diagnosis
Make an Appointment
with A Spine Specialist
An early herniated disc diagnosis is best. Make an appointment with a CONA spine specialist to receive a diagnosis and customized treatment plan.
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