The spine is made up of vertebrae and in between them are discs filled with a jelly-like center encased in a tougher exterior. The discs work to cushion vertebrae. A herniated disc is one that ruptures or bulges, and the jelly-like center leaks out. It is also called a slipped disc or ruptured disc, and it happens most commonly in the lower back and less commonly in the neck.
Causes of herniated discs are:
- Age: Often the cause is a degenerative disc in the spinal column. Aging can degenerate discs, meaning they dry out and are less flexible, becoming more susceptible to rupturing.
- Injury: A spinal injury can cause tears or cracks in the disc.
A herniated disc causes pressure on spinal nerves and can lead to back pain, pain and numbness in arms or legs, or sciatica. Conservative treatments for a herniated disc include walking, using a heating pad, or physical therapy. The most widely used cure for herniated disc includes beginning with conservative treatment, and moving toward surgery if those treatments do not work.
If neck or back pain is interfering with your life, pain that travels down your arm or leg, or numbness, tingling or weakness, contact us. Or call 253-841-8939 if you have any questions or to set up an appointment. Our expert physicians can rule out other back injuries, and work to provide you with an individualized treatment plan. Surgery for herniated disc is one of our specialties.