Herniated Disc Treatment
What You Need to Know
Do you have numbness or tingling in the back region? Do you have weak muscles or arm and leg pain?
These are all classic symptoms and signs of herniated discs (disks), and should be evaluated as soon as possible by your doctor.
To learn more about herniated discs, please continue reading. We also encourage you to contact one of our pain management clinics today.
What is a Herniated Disc?
If there is a problem with the rubbery cushions (called the disks) that are located between the bones (called the vertebrae) of the spine, a herniated disc can be the result.
Herniated discs (often called a slipped disk or ruptured disk) usually occur in the neck region (called the cervical spine), or in the lower back region (lumbar spine). However, herniated discs can occur anywhere along the spine.
Some people may have a herniated disc without even knowing it. It is always important to keep a careful record of your symptoms and health problems to share with your doctor.
Common Symptoms of Herniated Discs
Classic signs and symptoms of a herniated disc include:
- numbness in the affected body part
- tingling in the affected body part
- weakness of the muscles
- arm or leg pain
If you ever notice pain that travels down your leg or arm, call your doctor right away. If this pain is accompanied by weakness, tingling, or numbness, be sure to call your doctor right away. He or she will want to evaluate and treat your condition right away.
What Causes Herniated Discs?
Disk degeneration often results in disc herniation for some patients. The discs suffer wear and tear over time, which leads to more extensive problems, such as herniation.
Other times, patients cannot pinpoint a specific cause of disc herniation. Any of the following causes may be possibilities, though:
- lifting or moving objects incorrectly—twisting or turning while lifting
- a traumatic injury
- an excessive strain to the back
Risk factors that may increase the chances of a herniated disk:
- excess weight
Treatment and Care Options
It is possible to treat herniated discs without the need for addictive medications or surgery. Treatment options include:
- physical therapy
- anti-inflammatory medications
- pain medications (over-the-counter and prescription)
- cortisone injections (epidural)
- muscle relaxant medications
- nerve pain medications
- electrical stimulation
- heat or ice
Managing and Living With a Herniated Disc
It is possible to manage the symptoms and pain associated with a herniated disc. The following tips and suggestions will help you in your daily lives.
- Take over-the-counter pain medications, if needed.
- Use ice and/or heat when needed. These options can provide relief and comfort, as well as relieve inflammation and pain.
- Don’t lay down for extended periods of time. Doing so can increase pain and stiffness, as well as promote weak muscles.
- As you recover from surgery (if you have undergone surgery), ask your doctor about resuming light activities and exercises.
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Avoid stress as much as possible.
- Practice good posture while standing and sitting.
- Do not lift things that are too heavy or awkward. Always practice good techniques when lifting and moving items.
- Take care of your emotional and psychological well-being. This is especially important when dealing with chronic pain issues.
- Identify pain triggers and avoid them as much as possible.
Resources and Tools: What Should You Do Now?
Are you suffering from symptoms related to herniated discs and you want treatment right away? The Spine Center of Southeast Georgia can help you resume a less painful lifestyle.
Call one of our pain management clinics today to schedule your consultation appointment.