Disc herniation is among the common causes of neck and back pain. With the proper treatment, the skilled team of orthopaedic surgeons at Texas Orthopaedic Associates in Dallas, Fort Worth, Keller, Plano, and Weatherford, Texas, can heal your disc herniation, relieving your pain. Call the nearest office today or schedule an appointment online to get expert help for your disc herniation.
DISC HERNIATION Q&A
What is disc herniation?
Disc herniation means you have a damaged intervertebral disc. Your spine consists of a series of vertebrae, bones stacked one on another. Each bone is separated from the next by an intervertebral disc that cushions the bones and acts as a shock absorber.
Intervertebral discs have a soft gel center surrounded by a tough exterior. Disc herniation happens when the gel in the disc breaks through the shell, protruding into the spinal space.
Though not always a problem, disc herniation can irritate or pinch a nerve root or the spinal cord, causing pain.
What causes disc herniation?
Disc herniation most often happens because of age-related disc degeneration. As you get older, your intervertebral discs lose moisture, causing them to dry out and shrink.
This degeneration makes damaging and herniating (rupturing) the disc easier. Any minor strain on the back can cause disc herniation.
Acute injuries from a nasty fall or car accident can also cause disc herniation.
When should I seek help for disc herniation?
Disc herniation might heal on its own, but it will take time. You should seek help for a herniated disc if it’s caused by an acute injury or you’re experiencing intolerable pain. The Texas Orthopaedic Associates team also recommends scheduling a consultation if your current treatment isn’t easing your herniated disc pain.
The team conducts thorough evaluations, reviewing your symptoms and medical history and completing a physical exam focusing on the structure and function of your spine.
The team will order imaging procedures like X-rays or an MRI to confirm your herniated disc. Texas Orthopaedic Associates provides imaging on-site so that you don’t have to go to another clinic for testing.
What treatments can improve disc herniation?
Many treatments can improve disc herniation. The Texas Orthopaedic Associates team customizes your plan based on where your damaged disc is and how severe the herniation and symptoms are.
Treatments that improve disc herniation include:
- Activity changes
- Physical therapy
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Spinal injections
- Regenerative medicine
Most disc herniations improve with treatment. However, the Texas Orthopaedic Associates team includes fellowship-trained spine surgeons who perform spine surgery when necessary. They remove and replace the damaged disc with an artificial one, or they fuse the vertebral bones together.
Disc herniation is common but can get better with proper care. Call Texas Orthopaedic Associates today or request an appointment using the online scheduling tool.