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What You Need To Know About Herniated Discs

When it comes to herniated disks, there are a few things you should know:

  1. A herniated disc is found in the structure of the spine. Discs sit between the vertebrae in the spine, acting as a cushion between the individual bones. When an individual is diagnosed with a herniated disc, it means something is wrong with one of those cushions between the vertebrae.
  2. You may hear many different terms for a “herniated disc.” This condition is called a pinched nerve, bulging disc, ruptured disc or slipped disc. Depending on the health professional, it can be referred to in a few different ways because of the variety of disc problems that can occur.
  3. Some herniated discs are not painful. Though trauma is usually the cause of a herniated disc, they can sometimes occur without an injury-causing event and they don’t always cause pain or other symptoms. In these cases, they may be spotted during an MRI or a clinical evaluation for another issue.
  4. Severity of the injury and pain level are not always correlated. Less serious back issues can cause more pain than a herniated disc, and vice versa: a disc problem can cause minimal pain but needs to be taken care of right away to prevent further damage.
  5. It can be difficult to tell the difference between a herniated disc and other spinal issues. Because the nerves, muscles and ligaments in the spine overlap quite a bit, it is often challenging for the brain to identify what is causing the issue. In some cases, a herniated disc can feel like a bruised muscle or pulled ligament because of the overlapping nature of the surrounding spine structures.
  6. There is not a perfect treatment that works for all patients. While there are a number of options available for addressing a herniated disc, each patient is unique and may need alternate treatments. Some of those may include medications, injections, physical therapy or surgery. It’s important to talk to a doctor and undergo an exam to determine the root and extent of the disc issue, and create and individualized plan based on the patient’s needs.

For more information about herniated disk symptoms and treatment, call us at 253-841-8939.

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