Herniated discs are a common back injury, especially for men between 20-50 years of age, but Andrew Khoury, MD, can help. At Advanced Spine and Pain Specialists in The Woodlands, Texas, Dr. Khoury provides noninvasive and minimally invasive interventional pain management techniques for a wide range of conditions, including herniated discs. If you have back pain or a herniated disc, call Advanced Spine and Pain Specialists, or schedule an appointment online today.
The average adult spine has 24 bones called vertebrae separated by rubbery discs that function as shock absorbers and help create flexibility. When one of these intervertebral discs sustains damage, it can bulge or break open. These types of disc injuries are known as herniated, slipped, or ruptured discs.
You can develop a herniated disc in between any of your vertebrae, but they typically occur in your neck and lower back.
Herniated discs develop for several reasons, but are usually due to the aging process or injury.
When you grow older, your intervertebral discs begin to wear out and lose their flexibility. These changes leave them more vulnerable to damage through even the smallest movement.
You can also injure your discs by engaging in awkward movements, like bending and twisting at the same time. This motion can crack the sturdy outer layer of your intervertebral disc, which allows its soft, jelly-like filling to bulge or leak out.
Not all herniated discs cause symptoms. When they do develop, it’s usually because they put pressure on a nerve root in the area. When this occurs, you can have several uncomfortable symptoms, including pain, numbness, and weakness that radiates along the affected nerve.
Your herniated disc symptoms will also vary depending on which part of your spine is involved. For example, if you develop a herniated disc in your neck, it’s common to have pain, weakness, or numbness in your shoulder, arm, hand, and fingers. A herniated disc in your lower spine, however, typically causes sciatica symptoms that run through your buttock, into your hip, and down your leg.
No matter which part of your spine has the herniated disc, movements like sneezing or coughing worsen your pain. Herniated discs can also cause other back issues, like spinal stenosis.
Dr. Khoury develops treatment strategies for herniated discs depending on their location and the severity of your symptoms. Common therapies for herniated discs include:
If your herniated disc symptoms don’t respond to conservative treatments, Dr. Khoury might recommend surgical intervention to remove damage from the area.
For more information on herniated disc treatments, call Advanced Spine and Pain Specialists, or schedule an appointment online today.