Herniated discs occur as the discs naturally degenerate over the years, but that doesn't mean they only affect senior citizens. This pain problem most often occurs in adults between the ages of 30 to 50. At Desert Institute of Spine Care, Andrew Cash, MD, helps adults at any age when a herniated disc disrupts their life. Most people get the pain relief they need with nonsurgical care, but when necessary, you can depend on Dr. Cash's surgical skills and experience. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Las Vegas, Nevada, or book an appointment online today.
The discs located between the vertebrae in your spine consist of a strong outer cover that encloses a gel-like substance in the center of the disc. Over the years, the cover dehydrates, shrinks, and develops weak areas.
When you move, pressure from the vertebrae forces the inner core to bulge out through the weak area. If the cover tears, the inner substance leaks out. That's when you have a herniated disc.
You may develop a herniated disc in your neck (cervical spine), but this problem usually occurs in your lower back (lumbar spine).
Herniated discs affect spinal movement and cause pain in the area of the damaged disc. As the disc pushes against nerves, or the gel leaks out and irritates them, the nerves become inflamed and damaged.
Pinched nerves cause pain and tingling that travel down your arms or legs, depending on whether the damaged nerve is in your neck or lower back.
Herniated discs are the top cause of sciatica. Sciatica refers to sudden and often severe pain that shoots down one leg.
Ongoing nerve damage can also cause numbness and muscle weakness. If that happens, you may have a hard time lifting your foot when you walk or find that your hand is too weak to grasp items.
The first line of treatment includes avoiding activities that cause pain, taking medications, and starting physical therapy. Some patients may also benefit from chiropractic care. If your pain persists, Dr. Cash recommends manual traction or a spinal injection, such as an epidural steroid injection.
In many cases, herniated discs heal and your pain improves with nonsurgical treatments. But if your symptoms don't get better or get worse, Dr. Cash talks with you about herniated disc procedures.
Dr. Cash frequently performs procedures such as:
Dr. Cash performs a minimally invasive procedure to implant the spinal cord stimulator components: lead wires that go along your spine and a small generator placed under your skin. The generator sends mild electrical impulses through the wires and into the spinal nerves. The impulses block the nerve signals carrying pain messages to your brain.
Dr. Cash surgically removes the damaged part of the disc to decompress the nerve or he takes out the entire disc, depending on the extent of the disc’s damage.
If you need treatment for a herniated disc or back pain, call Desert Institute of Spine Care or book an appointment online today.
Herniated disc, https://mayfieldclinic.com/pe-hldisc.htm
Herniated disc, https://my.clevelandclinic.org/health/diseases/12768-herniated-disk