Your spine is made up of bones, called vertebrae, cushioned by cartilage discs that create your spinal column. The discs that cushion the bones in your spine and support flexible movement have a softer interior protected by a harder exterior. When you have a herniated disc, the soft interior of one of these discs comes out through the hard exterior.
The result can be pain, discomfort and, for some, numbness or weakness in the limbs. The numbness and weakness typically results from the herniated disc affecting nearby nerves in the spine. Others may not have any symptoms. A herniated disc can happen to any part of the spine, but the condition more commonly occurs in the lower back and neck.
What Can Cause a Herniated Disc
A herniated disc, sometimes referred to as a slipped disc, can be caused by a few things. Age-related wear and tear of the spine can cause a slipped disc, especially as the spine becomes less flexible and more vulnerable to damage. For others, an injury to the spine (such as lifting heavy objects and twisting at the same time), a fall or an accident can be the cause.
Potential Symptoms of Disc Herniation
While some people can have a disc herniation and not have symptoms, others may experience pain or discomfort. People with herniated discs often experience:
- Back pain
- Pain, numbness or weakness in the limbs, typically on one side of the body
- A burning or tingling sensation in the back or limbs
- Discomfort after standing, sitting or performing specific movements
The symptoms can vary from person to person. Some people may have a few of these symptoms, all of them or none of them.
How a Herniated Disc Can Be Treated
Fortunately, most people who experience a disc herniation do not need surgery to experience pain relief. Exercise, medication and physical therapy can help improve the condition. These include over-the-counter medications such as Advil, as well as muscle relaxers and nerve pain medications, depending on your unique symptoms.
Your physician may also recommend corticosteroid injections, which can help reduce inflammation and pain at the site of your discomfort. With reduced pain, you can begin an exercise or physical therapy regimen to continue to improve inflammation and mobility.
Physical therapy exercises and applications such as ice and heat, back braces and electrical stimulation may also help improve your pain. Our Georgia pain clinic can help you create the treatment plan that’s right for you, based on your symptoms.
Make an Appointment at Our Georgia Pain Clinic
If you believe you have a herniated disc or have struggled to treat your pain with conservative approaches, Summit Spine & Joint Centers can help you with our state-of-the-art treatment options. Contact our Georgia pain clinic today at (770) 250-4020 or contact us online to make a virtual or in-person appointment!