Herniated Disc Treatment and Symptoms
What is a herniated disc?
A herniated disc, also known as a bulging disc, or slipped disc, is the swelling of a spine vertebrae disc that puts pressure on your spinal nerves. This spinal pressure causes pain, discomfort and sometimes numbness in your back. You also may experience weakness in your arm or leg, so you may have trouble walking if the herniated disc is severe enough. The most extreme cases can even cause paralysis in your legs, so beware if you start feeling pain in your back or neck.
What causes a herniated disc?
There are a few things that cause a herniated disc, such as sports injury, trauma from a car accident, or repetitive motion over time. They can also be the results of degenerative disc disease, where your spinal discs naturally degenerate with age. Osteoarthritis and lumbar spondylosis often happen simultaneously with a herniated disc, so be sure to get your spine fully checked out for any other conditions that may be bothering you.
Herniated Disc Symptoms – Lower Left Back Pain & Lower Right Back Pain
The major pain areas are going to be in your lower back, arms, feet or legs. The pain can feel like pins and needles, or tingling and burning in your back. You also may experience a stiff neck when you get a slipped disc.
Sometimes the herniated disc can affect only your lower right back, or lower left back, since the bulging disc only protrudes to one side.
The effected area of the spine can be anywhere, but it’s usually in the lower back or neck. The pain can persist for up to 6 weeks without any kind of medical assistance, and sitting or bending forward may make the herniated disc worse because this puts pressure on the pinched nerve. You will probably want to sleep on your side to relieve the pressure on your nerves. Moderate exercise such as walking, biking, or swimming can help relieve the pain as well. You should always discuss with your doctor what strategy is best suited for your personal lifestyle and condition.
What does a herniated disc feel like?
When you have a herniated disc it is a radiating pain from your low back, down to one leg or both legs, and possibly into your feet. It can feel like an electric shock if you’re standing, walking or sitting. These can cause extreme pain depending on the person or situation. Some describe it as a sharp or burning pain, or numbness / tingling.
How do you fix a herniated disc? What are herniated disc treatments?
When you first get news of a herniated disc in your back you may start with some mild pain relievers such as ibuprofen to help control your back pain. If these don’t help you may opt for an epidural injection in your back, which calms the nerves around your spine and more directly brings down the swelling in the effected area. This option is more effective than oral pain relief medication because it targets the exact site causing lower back or neck pain.
When the previous options don’t work there are extreme options such as spinal fusion. However, there is a minimally invasive laser surgery option which is a simple needle injection. A laser is inserted through the needle to treat the disc pinching your spinal nerves. Here’s whats happening when you experience neck pain or back pain, and a demonstration of our percutaneous laser disc decompression therapy.
A healthy disc that sits between your bones in your vertebrae allows your spine to flex and bend with ease. There’s a soft nucleus center, and a rubbery exterior called the annulus.
Herniated discs happen when the nucleus pushes out through a tear in the annulus. This puts pressure on a nearby nerve causing pain, and possibly numbness or weakness in legs or arms.
Percutaneous laser decompression is a minimally invasive technique that inserts a thin needle into the disruptive disc, and decompresses the nucleus using a laser.
Advantages of Laser Surgery for Herniated Discs
No general anesthesia
Short recovery period
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