One of the most common causes of back pain for American adults is a herniated disc. Repeated bending or torsion of the spine can cause the cushioned discs between the vertebrae to bulge out from between the individual vertebrae. This is called a herniation or a herniated disc. The condition causes increased pressure on related nerves, resulting in pain and inflammation in the back and radiated pain in other areas. Sufferers can also experience numbness or tingling and weakness in the legs and loss of bladder or bowel control.
Herniated disc treatment often calls for rest, physical therapy, stretching exercises, hot and cold therapy, NSAIDs, joint injections, spinal decompression and pain relief interventions until complete healing is achieved. This can take time to achieve, and until symptoms like pain and numbness subside, the medical team at Full Range Spine & Ortho provides interventional pain management in Los Angeles to offer pain relief.
What is a Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc, also known as a slipped disc, ruptured disc, or disc protrusion, is a condition in which the soft, jelly-like substance inside a spinal disc pushes out through a tear in the disc’s outer layer. The discs are rubbery cushions that sit between the bones (vertebrae) of the spine, acting as shock absorbers for the spine.
What are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?
When a disc herniates, it can compress nearby nerves, causing pain, numbness, tingling, or weakness in the area of the body that the nerve supplies. The location of the herniated disc determines which part of the body is affected.
What Causes a Disc to Herniate?
A herniated disc is typically caused by wear and tear on the disc over time, but it can also be caused by sudden injury. Here are some of the most common causes of herniated discs:
- Age: As we age, the spinal discs lose some of their water content, which makes them less flexible and more prone to tearing or rupturing.
- Repetitive stress: Repetitive movements or heavy lifting can put excessive stress on the spinal discs, causing them to wear down and eventually herniate.
- Poor posture: Sitting or standing in the same position for prolonged periods can put pressure on the spinal discs, increasing the risk of a herniation.
- Sudden injury: A sudden injury, such as a fall or a car accident, can cause a disc to herniate.
- Genetics: Some people may have a genetic predisposition to herniated discs due to inherited differences in the structure and composition of the discs.
- Obesity: Being overweight or obese can put extra pressure on the spinal discs, increasing the risk of herniation.
- Smoking: Smoking can reduce the oxygen supply to the discs, making them more prone to damage.
At Full Range Spine & Ortho, we recognize the importance of helping patients prevent herniated discs, which includes maintaining good posture, practicing safe lifting techniques, staying active and maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding smoking. However, if you suspect you have a herniated disc or are experiencing symptoms, we recommend calling our Los Angeles pain management clinic sooner rather than later.
Do Herniated Discs Need Surgery to Heal?
No, the majority of people with herniated discs can avoid surgery and successfully manage their symptoms through non-surgical treatments. Dr. Nini and Dr. Lee may recommend some of the following non-surgical treatment options for a herniated disc:
- Rest: Taking a break from activities that aggravate the symptoms can help reduce pain and allow the disc to heal.
- Physical therapy: A physical therapist can design an exercise program to help strengthen the muscles that support the spine, improve flexibility, and reduce pain.
- Medications: Over-the-counter or prescription medications, such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, or corticosteroids, can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Epidural injections: An injection of a corticosteroid medication into the space around the spinal cord can help reduce inflammation and pain.
- Chiropractic care: A chiropractor can use spinal manipulation to help relieve pain and improve function.
- Heat or ice: Applying heat or ice to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation.
- Lifestyle changes: Making lifestyle changes such as losing weight, quitting smoking, and practicing good posture can help prevent future herniated discs.
Surgery is typically reserved for cases where non-surgical treatments have not provided relief or when there is a risk of nerve damage or spinal cord compression. Dr. Nini can help determine the best non-surgical course of treatment for your herniated disc based on the severity of your symptoms and the location of the herniation.
Expert Pain Management for a Herniated Disc in Fullerton, Encino
Managing pain while healing from a herniated disc is imperative to aid the healing process and provide comfort. Dr. Roy Nini is a widely-recognized pain management expert who can tailor a customized pain management plan for you while you heal from a herniated disc. As with all our medical and pain management treatments, Dr. Nini utilizes non-invasive, regenerative therapies that avoid surgery or undue dependence on opioids.
Pain management techniques and treatments that Dr. Nini may prescribe as part of your pain management plan can include any or a combination of several of the following:
- Joint injections
- Nerve root blocks
- Homeopathic injections
- Intradiscal biologics
- Sympathetic blocks
- Spinal cord stimulation
These methods of pain management seek to avoid dangerous and hazardous opioids that can become difficult to administer and include a high risk of addiction. Discuss these methods and other treatments for pain management of a herniated disc during a confidential consultation with Dr. Nini at Full Range Spine & Ortho. We have four clinics in and around the Los Angeles area for your convenience.
The most appropriate treatments for you will depend on the cause, nature, and severity of your herniated disc pain.
Schedule a consultation with Dr. Nini at Full Range Ortho in Los Angeles or Beverly Hills to receive a custom-tailored herniated disc treatment plan.