A herniated disc is a condition that causes pain in the back and tingling in the legs. If you’ve been diagnosed with this condition, you may be wondering what steps to take next. The good news is that the condition is curable. In fact, most times, it resolves on its own. But even if it doesn’t, treatment plans are available to help patients recover. Read on to learn more about a herniated disc.
What Is a Herniated Disc?
Also called a slipped or ruptured disc, a herniated disc occurs when the jelly-like filling in the spinal disc breaks into the disc’s outer shell, causing a tear. This disc refers to the individual cushions that we have between the pair of vertebrae in the spine. The cushions are shock absorbers and keep the bony pieces from banging each other. However, with time, they get damaged, leading to a tear. When the disc breaks, the material can press on the closest nerves, resulting in a herniated disc.
What Are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?
The symptoms vary, depending on the part of the spine that was affected. If the disc herniates in the neck, a person may experience shoulder or arm pain. But if it occurs in the lower back, symptoms may include tingling, numbness, pain, and weakness from the back, butt, and down to the feet. Also, the intensity of the discomfort will depend on how much the disc material pushes into the nerve.
How Is a Herniated Disc Diagnosed?
Many of us use Google to make a diagnosis of the condition we have. However, it doesn’t provide us with an accurate diagnosis always. You should see a doctor if you suspect you have a herniated disc. He or she will run several tests to confirm the exact condition you have and the treatment options you can undertake. These tests include imaging tests like MRI and/or X-rays.
Treatment Options for a Herniated Disc
The good news is that the condition might heal on its own within six months. However, if the pain level is hard to handle, your doctor may suggest you take over-the-counter medications like narcotics and muscle relaxers. Well, the medication only offers a short-term solution. If the condition doesn’t heal after taking medication, your physician may recommend additional treatments like physical therapy or cortisone injections.
However, for patients who don’t feel better after trying these conservative treatment options, surgery for herniated disc may be recommended. Fortunately, it’s not that invasive and has a quick recovery time.
If you have herniated disc-related symptoms, it’s wise that you see a spine specialist for an examination. They will figure out the root of the problem and suggest a treatment plan suitable for you. Follow the link for more information on herniated disc treatment options.