Herniated discs, also called “slipped” discs, are a prevalent issue among adults. Slipped discs are most common in people between the ages of 30-50. However, anyone can suffer from a herniated disc, and the symptoms are often extremely painful.
At Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine in Ramsey, New Jersey, our expert physicians can accurately identify herniated discs in your spinal column and help create a plan to remedy your condition.
Your spinal column
To understand how discs herniate, you have to understand the basic anatomy of the spine.
Your vertebrae stack on top of one another and fit together using flexible joints called facets to form your spine. These vertebrae are cushioned by layers of cartilage called intervertebral (spinal) discs.
Discs are small, rubbery pads that absorb shock and prevent your vertebrae from rubbing together and wearing down. Each disc consists of a hard outer ring and a gelatinous center.
Lifting something too heavy, spending hours in an office chair, or being in an accident can cause a disc to herniate. When a disc is damaged, a crack forms in the exterior. The soft center spills out and puts pressure on your spinal nerves. This can cause the following symptoms:
- Pain in the affected area, usually the lower back
- Radiating pain in the arms or legs
- Increased pain when you move, sneeze, or cough
- Tingling or numbness
- Muscle weakness
Your spine is split into three sections: the cervical, the thoracic, and the lumbar. Though any disc in the spine can slip, most cases of herniated discs occur in the lumber (lower) spine.
Mildly herniated discs will often resolve themselves after a period of bedrest and light activity. However, more severe cases might require intervention and treatment.
Treatment for herniated discs
Treatment for herniated discs depends on your lifestyle and the severity of the injury. At Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine, we provide the following treatments for herniated discs:
- Support devices to keep the back aligned and stable during healing
- Joint injections, including steroids
- Physical therapy
- Hot/cold therapy
- Osteopathic manipulation treatments (OMT)
- Regenerative medicine, such as stem cell therapy
- Electrical stimulation, including electroacupuncture
If you’re suffering from a slipped disc, it’s important to consult with a specialist. We can evaluate your situation and create a treatment plan that caters to you. Not everyone heals the same way, so it’s important to find a doctor who understands your needs and will adjust your treatment as necessary.
When conservative treatments like bedrest or external manipulation fail, we may recommend surgery. To learn more about herniated discs and discuss your options, talk to the team at Progressive Spine and Sports Medicine. You can get in touch by calling 201-273-9702, or request an appointment online.