Herniated Disc Specialists

Herniated Disc Specialists

Primary care physicians often treat slipped discs first, but it is important that you see an advanced spine center immediately to ensure the condition doesn’t get worse.

What is a Herniated Disc?

If you feel pain in your legs or arms, or weakness, it could be a herniated dis. A herniated or ruptured disc refers, among other things, to problems with the soft rubber disc between your spinal bones. A herniated disc can be found in the lower back, called the lumbar spinal spine, or in the neck, the cervical spine. This can cause neck pain as well as back pain.

Herniated spines are not uncommon and do not usually require treatment. Most often they can be repaired with rest. If symptoms persist, an orthopedic surgeon specializing in spine surgeries may be needed.

What Causes a Herniated Disc

Most herniated spines occur because of age. As we age, discs start to degenerate and the surrounding ligaments lose their strength. A disc can rupture if it sustains a minor injury. Herniated discs may not just be due to aging. It can also be caused by genetics and injuries. If herniated discs have been experienced by multiple members of your family, you might be at risk.

Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

Symptoms caused by herniated spines occur only when the disc presses against a nerve. This can result in weakness, numbness, pain, and sometimes even back pain.

These symptoms can be felt in the arms and legs. Experts advise that you feel the most pain in your buttocks (thigh), calf, and lower back if the herniated nerve is in your lower spine. A pain may also occur in the foot. You will feel the most pain in your arm, shoulder, and neck if your herniated cervical disc is located in your neck. A herniated disc that is not pressing on a nerve may cause little or no symptoms.

Who is at High Risk for Herniated Disc Development?

Although anyone can get a herniated spine, certain factors can increase the likelihood of you getting it.

  • Workplace- A physically demanding job can increase your risk of developing a herniated spine, neck pain or back problems.
  • Age- Your discs will begin to degenerate with age. You are more likely to develop a herniated or bulging disc as you age.
  • Sex- A herniated disc can be more common in men than in women.
  • Weight- The spine supports the body. Being overweight could put additional pressure on it and increase the likelihood of a herniated spine.

How can I prevent a herniated disc?

It is not always possible to prevent herniated discs, but there are steps that can help.

  • Maintain a good posture
  • Be active and keep your attention on the muscles that support your spine: core and trunk, back, lower back, back and back.
  • Avoid shoes that don’t provide adequate support like high heels and shoes without a flat bottom.
  • Maintain a healthy weight and eat well
  • Do not sit for extended periods of time
  • Stretching is a vital part of daily living, so make sure you do it even from your office chair.

Herniated Disc Treatment

There are many ways to treat herniated discs. The majority of people who have a herniated spine will simply need to rest and keep the disc from getting worse. However, if symptoms persist after six weeks you should see a physical therapist.

Can a Herniated disc heal on its own?

A conservative treatment or activity modification can help herniated discs heal on their own. Sometimes, a herniated spine can still be present. If it isn’t causing symptoms, it can be left alone. A spine specialist can help you if your symptoms do not improve. Herniated discs are treated by many different medical providers. Only orthopedic surgeons and neurosurgeons are qualified to perform surgical treatment of a herniated spinal disc.

Providers for nonsurgical treatment

Herniated disc therapy is designed to relieve pain and discomfort and improve mobility. To reduce discomfort and pain, most doctors recommend nonsurgical options. The most common nonsurgical treatments are rest, anti inflammatory medications, physical treatment, and epidural injections.

There are several providers who offer non-surgical treatments for a herniated spine:

  • Family practitioners (family medicine doctors)
  • Internists
  • Orthopedic Surgeons
  • Neurologists
  • Neurosurgeons
  • Pain medicine specialists
  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists (physiatrists).
  • Physical therapists
  • Rheumatologists

Providers for Surgical Treatment

If your symptoms are severe and persist after nonsurgical treatments, surgery may be recommended. The most common surgery for herniated spines is to remove damaged discs. This is called a discectomy. Neurosurgeons as well as orthopedic surgeons can perform discectomy.

  • Orthopedic surgeons focus on the surgical and medical treatment of conditions and diseases affecting the bones, muscles, and spine.
  • Neurosurgeons can treat diseases and conditions of nerves, including the spine.
  • Neurosurgeons or orthopedic surgeons may specialize in another type of surgery, such as neurosurgery.

Top Things to look for in a doctor

You should seek out a specialist when you search for a doctor to fix herniated spines. A doctor who has extensive experience treating patients with similar issues to yours is a good choice.

In particular, you should look for providers that:

  • Are certified in their area of expertise and specialize in spine care
  • Experience with treating herniated spines with minimally invasive surgery and treatments
  • You feel at ease talking to you and are available to answer any questions or concerns.
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