A herniated disc occurs when a portion of the vertebral disc ruptures. Through the ruptured portion, the inner central portion of the disc (nucleus pulposus) is pushed out into the spinal canal on nerves in the cervical, lumbar thoracic areas.
Due to the spinal canal having limited space if the disc is displaced and causes pressure on the nerve which can often lead to pain and numbness. If the disc is smaller it is sometimes called a protrusion or bulge.
Symptoms of Cervical Herniated Disc:
Symptoms of Lumbar Herniated Disc
Causes of Cervical Herniated Disc:
Causes of Lumbar Herniated Disc:
Herniated Disc Treatments
If your herniated disc back pain is mild to moderate, your physician may advise you to take over the counter medication, such as naproxen (Aleve) or Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin.) Thereafter, If your pain does not improve from the over the counter medication, your doctor might prescribe narcotics for a short period of time. There are side effects of these drugs and must be taken with caution. If you experience severe side effects from your medications, it is advised to contact your medical care professional immediately. Also, Cortisone injections can be injected directly into the area around the spinal nerves for relief.
Next, Therapy is typically considered if medication does not resolve your pain within a few weeks. A physical therapist is essential to provide guidance for positions and exercises designed to minimize pain from the herniated disc.
After all of the above-mentioned options are exhausted, surgery might be an option for you. If conservative treatments fail to improve your symptoms after six weeks, it is normal for your doctor to then recommend surgery, especially if you continue to experience the following: Difficulty standing or walking, Numbness or weakness, Loss of bladder or bowel control.