Up to 2% of Americans suffer from herniated discs every year, typically in the lower back (lumbar spine) or neck (cervical spine), the two most flexible parts of the spine.
Spongy and filled with a gel-like substance, your spinal discs act like built-in shock absorbers for your spine, and they help your spine move and flex, too.
A herniated disc happens when the tough shell of the disc rips or bursts and some of the gel interior leaks out. This gel and the torn disc itself can press on nerves as they exit your spine, causing a variety of painful symptoms.
With locations in Eugene and Roseburg, Oregon, Pacific Sports and Spine helps women and men find long-lasting, meaningful relief for herniated discs using a patient-centered approach focused on each patient’s individual needs.
In this post, our team reviews the basics of herniated discs, as well as the most common treatment options so you know what to expect
Herniated discs often occur as a result of age-related wear-and-tear on your discs and spine joints. As you get older, your discs tend to flatten out and become less flexible, making them more prone to damage. Joint inflammation, arthritis, and thickened ligaments can contribute to disc problems, too.
Herniated discs can also happen after a fall or other traumatic event, like a car accident. Sometimes, a disc herniates or ruptures after you lift a heavy object or following a day of strenuous activity.
Anyone can have herniated discs, but they tend to occur more often in people who:
Some people may have a genetic predisposition to herniated discs, as well.
The symptoms you experience with a herniated disc depend in part on whether the affected disc is in your neck or your lower back. Commons symptoms include:
In most cases, a herniated disc affects one side of your body.
Herniated discs can be painful, but in most cases, they respond well to conservative treatment. Before we prescribe any therapy, we perform a thorough evaluation along with diagnostic imaging to pinpoint the damaged disc.
Depending on the severity of the herniated disc, your medical history, and other factors, we may prescribe one or more of the following:
If these options don’t provide adequate relief after several weeks or if the disc is affecting your mobility or your bladder or bowel control, we may suggest surgery to relieve pressure on the nerve that’s being compressed by the disc.
Herniated discs don’t always clear up on their own, and sometimes they can wind up causing permanent nerve damage.
If you have a herniated disc, we can help. To learn more about the treatments we offer to relieve herniated disc symptoms and prevent more serious complications, book an appointment online or over the phone with our team at Pacific Sports and Spine today.