You have cushion-like discs between your vertebrae, or bones, which are stacked up, forming your spine. Discs act like shock absorbers. A herniated disc or slipped disc occurs when one of them is pushed out due to a tear.
A herniated disc can irritate your surrounding nerves in your back and cause pain or weakness in your arms or legs. You typically don’t need surgery to correct a herniated disc. A herniated disc usually affects your lower back or lumbar spine. However, it can also affect your neck or cervical spine.
Common symptoms associated with a herniated disc include:
You should seek medical attention if your neck pain or back pain lasts more than a few days or if your pain travels down your arm or leg. Be aware of any tingling, numbness, or weakness.
In many cases, a herniated disc is the result of natural wear and tear related to age and disc degeneration. As you age, your spinal discs lose some of their flexibility and become more susceptible to tearing, even due to a minor strain.
You can't always pinpoint the exact cause of your herniated disc. Sometimes, improper form, like using your back muscles instead of your legs when lifting heavy objects, can cause a herniated disc. It’s rare, but sometimes trauma from a fall or a blow to your back can cause a herniated disc.
Several factors can increase your risk of a herniated disc, including:
Occupation (jobs that require lifting, pulling, pushing, etc.)
Genetics (family history)
Treatment for a herniated disc may include spinal imaging to inspect your herniated disc. More severe cases may require an epidural steroid injection or spinal cord stimulation. Our specialists will prescribe the right course of treatment for you from a wide range of minimally invasive treatment plans and alternative therapies.
Contact Comprehensive Pain Consultants of the Carolinas today to get a referral in place and set up your consultation at the Asheville-area clinic nearest you!