What Is a Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc is a common source of neck and back pain. This condition occurs when the firm outer border of a spinal disc tears open, allowing some of the disc’s soft inner gel material to push through the breach and invade the spinal canal. While this type of damage can occur through direct trauma, a herniated disc is more often a result of age-related spinal degeneration.
What does it feel like to have a herniated disc?
A herniated disc can cause varying degrees of discomfort – and sometimes none at all. Any associated pain is usually a result of nerve compression caused by a herniated disc, rather than the herniation itself. For instance, a compressed nerve in the lower back can cause sciatica, which is characterized by sharp, shooting pains that extend from the buttocks down the back of one leg to the corresponding foot. Other symptoms include:
- Lower back pain
- Muscle weakness in a leg or foot
- Numbness or tingling sensations in a leg or foot
- Loss of bladder or bowel control (a rare but serious complication known as cauda equina syndrome, which warrants emergency medical attention)
Likewise, if a herniated disc causes nerve compression in the neck, it can produce pain in the trapezius muscles between the neck and shoulders. Other possible symptoms include:
- Burning pain that travels from the neck through a shoulder, arm and hand
- Muscle weakness in an arm or hand
- Numbness or pins-and-needles sensations in an arm or hand
How is a herniated disc treated?
Herniated disc symptoms often resolve on their own or with conservative treatment over the course of several weeks. Many people do well with a brief period of rest, activity modifications, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), hot/cold compresses and physical therapy. In general, spine surgery is recommended only as a last resort for addressing severe or disabling symptoms.
At Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, Texas, we offer both conservative and surgical herniated disc treatments ranging from physical therapy and prescription medications to corticosteroid injections and spinal decompression surgery. Our team will evaluate your general health, symptoms and imaging scans to help you find the best approach to treatment. If you experience numbness around your saddle area or lose bladder or bowel control, we encourage you to seek immediate medical attention. These are signs of a serious complication known as cauda equina syndrome, which may require emergency surgery to alleviate nerve compression.
To learn more about our approach to herniated disc treatment, contact Advanced Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine of Houston, TX, to speak with a spine specialist today.
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1Professional Building II At North Cypress Medical Center
2North Cypress Professional Building At Lakewood Crossing
3North Cypress Professional Building At Towne Lake
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What Our Patients Are Saying
This Hospital/clinic is the best that will take care of your pain and ailments. I will never trust any one else but Dr. Alain Elbaz to heal my body. The staff is awesome, polite, respectful and as professional as the team that works with Dr. Elbaz. I recommend him and all the doctors in the clinic because of their experience and honesty.
I have been fighting chronic knee pain for ten years following a knee replacement, a bone infection, and subsequent knee revision surgery. After a number of failed solutions to pain relief, Dr. Patel introduced me to RF nerve ablation procedure which has been very effective in improving my quality of life. Dr. Patel’s professionalism and proficiency are sincerely appreciated.
Dr. Mohr and his staff are very friendly people. They treated my father very well and made him feel comfortable in his uncomfortable situation.
Yes, I would certainly recommend Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine to family & friends. My wife and I both have been going to see Dr. Mills for the past year, and both of us have had hand surgery performed by same. He is always very polite, and will discuss all options with you, and will not cut you short of time. He listens, he’s very professional, and bottom line is he is a great doctor. Plus all the staff that we have had contact with are very polite, and professional. Dr. Mills assistant Ms. Alexia Wilburn gets an AA ++
She has been very professional & helpful getting us through our surgeries. Thanks goes out to everyone at Advanced Orthopedics & Sports Medicine for taking care of both of us
Dr mills is exceptional. I would recommend him to anyone
All the staff performed in a professional manner.All of my questions and concerned where explained to me so i could understand them. Great job all around. Thanks
Always treated promptly and kindly at AOSM. Thanks to Dr Mack and his team.
Dr. Bacon is hands-down the best doctor I have ever had (skills, knowledge, bedside manner, and more,) Garrett is an intelligent P. A. who is very approachable and answers any and all questions promptly, and Jose is warm, incredibly compassionate and genuinely shows great concern for the patients. He represents the practice very well. There are so many more positives to say about them, but not enough room! I highly recommend Team Bacon!
Doctor Brooks is the best. His advice to get lubricant injected into my knees has made my life so much better. Kudos!
They are very professional and attentive. I was having shoulder pain. The wait was short and staff very kind.Dr. Fehsenfeld examined gave me a shot in shoulder, and it is much improved.