HEALTH

Diagnosis and Treatment for Herniated Disc

A herniated disc also called slipped, ruptured, or bulging disc involves spine damage. Your spine has a series of bones. Between these bones are cushions known as discs that act as buffers and allow you to move and bend easily. If any of these discs tears or leaks, it is referred to as a herniated disc. Fair Lawn herniated disc is the leading cause of neck, back, and leg pain. Aging, excess weight, repetitive motions, and sudden strain from incorrect lifting or twisting can lead to herniated discs. Herniated discs can cause pain and numbness, pain that extends to your arms or legs, and a tingling or aching sensation in the affected part.

Diagnosis of a herniated disc

Physical exam: During a physical examination, your doctor will assess your source of pain, muscle reflexes, sensation, and strength of your muscles.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This test is the most accurate imaging scan for a suspected herniated disc.

X-ray: Your doctor can rule out other causes of back pain or neck pain through an X-ray.

Computed tomography (CT): A CT scan shows your spine bones. Bulging discs can press on your spinal cord and nerves when they move into the surrounding space.

Myelogram: This test involves your doctor injecting a dye into your spine with the aid of an X-ray for a CT scan. The shade can show a narrowing of your spinal canal and the location of your bulging disc.

Electromyogram (EMG): Your doctor places tiny needles into various muscles and evaluates the functioning of your nerves. An EMG helps determine the nerve affected by a herniated disc.

Treatment for herniated discs

Medications

Your healthcare provider can recommend anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce inflammation. Painkillers like ibuprofen can help relieve pain. If you have severe pain and over-the-counter medications do not reduce discomfort, your doctor can prescribe opioids.

Physical therapy

Depending on your condition, your therapist can teach you exercises to help relieve pressure on your nerves. Exercise improves blood circulation and loosens tight muscles.

Spinal injections

Spinal injections involve your doctor administering a steroid medication directly into your spine. This medication decreases swelling and inflammation of the nerve affected by a herniated disc. After the treatment, your body will heal and resume activity quicker.

Surgery

Although rare, a large herniated disc may injure your bladder or bowel nerves. This situation may require emergency surgery. Surgery is essential in other cases when other treatment techniques are ineffective. If you experience muscle weakness, mobility problems, or persisting pain, your provider can recommend surgery. Various surgical techniques can help relieve pressure on your spinal cord, including:

Discectomy: This surgery removes all or a part of the herniated disc.

Nucleotomy: Your surgeon uses a suction or laser excision to remove the soft center of the herniated disc.

Laminectomy: Your surgeon can remove part of the disc to create room for nerves.

Spinal fusion: In this surgery, your surgeon can join one or two vertebrae.

Disk replacement: This surgery involves your surgeon replacing the herniated discs with artificial implants.

A herniated disc is an injury to your backbone. Medications, physical therapy, and surgery can help treat the condition. Schedule an appointment at Alliance Spine Associates, LLC for a herniated disc treatment to relieve your pain.