Disc Herniations

Disc Herniations Treatment Near Me in New Jersey

Disc Herniations Treatment Near Me in New Jersey

If you’re experiencing pain in your back, you might suffer from a herniated disc. As NJ’s top spine surgeon, we offer compassionate and effective herniated disc treatment. In this article, we discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of disc herniations.

If you believe you have a herniated disc, read the article to discover more, then reach out to a specialist for diagnosis and help.

What Is Disc Herniation?

Your spine consists of 24 small rubber-like discs that act as cushions between the bones and prevent them from rubbing. When one becomes herniated, the jelly-like substance within it bulges out, causing severe pain for most people. 

Types of disc herniations include:

  • Protrusion: The least severe type of herniation, doctors refer to a protrusion as “contained.” The pain is usually minor and results from pressure on the disc.
  • Extrusion: These non-contained disc bulges are more serious than protrusions and often lead to severe symptoms.
  • Sequestered: When an extrusion exists for a prolonged period without treatment, it ruptures, causing a sequestered herniation. It causes severe pain and often robs a patient of their mobility. Seek immediate treatment.

What Causes Disc Herniation?

Age and injury are the primary causes of a herniated disc. As a person ages, the discs dry out, and the space between them narrows. Back injuries, such as improperly lifting heavy objects, also cause herniated discs.

The following factors can increase a person’s risks:

  • Genetics, especially in cases of lumbar degeneration
  • Being overweight
  • Being a male between the ages of 30 and 50
  • Having a job with repetitive movements or heavy lifting
  • Smoking
  • A sedentary lifestyle

Herniated Disc Symptoms

While some people experience a herniated disc without any symptoms, others experience a wide variety of painful side effects. The most common symptoms include the following.

Back Pain

The pain might radiate throughout the entire back or remain specific to the place of injury. The pain likely increases from repetitive motions, such as prolonged sitting or frequently bending over. Coughing and sneezing also cause a severe spike in pain.

Sciatica

Sciatica is an acute or chronic pain that radiates from the hips, down the legs, and up into the lower back. It might include simple leg pain or encompass the entire side of your lower body. It most often feels like a burning or stabbing in the leg.

In 90% of sciatica cases, nerve compression in the L4 or L5 vertebrae cause the condition, according to PubMed Central.

Limb Weakness

A herniated disc often results in weakness in your leg or foot, including numbness, tingling, or pins-and-needle sensation. The sensation may also occur in the neck or arms, depending on which disc is bulging. 

Bladder Issues

In up to 50% of patients, a herniated disc can cause a loss of bladder or bowel control, according to PubMed Central. This is a clear sign you should seek help in diagnosing and treating the issue.

Diagnosing a Herniated Disc

Seek a diagnosis if your symptoms become so severe they cause the following:

  • You frequently miss work because of the pain
  • You’re getting worse rather than better
  • You find mobility difficult or impossible
  • Your arms or legs feel numb or weak

After establishing your medical history, your doctor uses the following steps to diagnose your herniated disc.

1. Physical Exam

The doctor establishes whether you have any weakness or sensory loss and examine the reflexes, mobility, and strength of your limbs.

2. SLR Test

The Straight Leg Raise test requires you to lie on a table while the doctor attempts to lift your leg. If you feel pain, you likely have a herniated disc. 

3. Imaging Test

If the doctor believes you’re experiencing a herniated disc, they’ll order a CT-Scan, MRI, or X-ray to pinpoint the problem and establish a treatment plan.

Treating Herniated Discs

Doctors have several options for herniated disc treatment, depending on the location and severity of the condition. They’ll suggest one of the following treatments:

  • Rest: Until you’re better, refrain from strenuous activity like exercise or bearing weight. Use a heating pad to manage the pain. 
  • Anti-inflammatories: Use aspirin or NSAIDs like ibuprofen to treat mild to moderate pain. 
  • Neuropathic drugs: For severe pain, the doctor may prescribe medications such as Gabapentin, Pregabalin, or other minor opiates.
  • Steroid injections: If your case is severe, the doctor can offer an epidural steroid injection for pain management.
  • Physical therapy and rehabilitation: Once you establish a pain management routine, physical therapy can help build the muscles you need to support your spine and relieve pressure. 
  • Surgical options: When physical therapy and pain management don’t work, your doctor might suggest one of several surgical options. Between 20% – 50% of patients require surgical intervention, according to Chiba University.

They can also advise how to heal a herniated disc quickly.

Conclusion

A herniated disc can cause serious pain and reduce your overall quality of life. When you seek herniated disc treatment from our physical therapists and spine specialists, we help you reclaim your life and mobility.

If you know or suspect you’re experiencing a herniated disc, don’t wait any longer. We can diagnose you and start treatment.

We accept most insurance plans, including workers’ compensation, no-fault, and PIP. Same-day appointments may be available. If you’ve suffered a herniated disc, we also provide spine disc replacement.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the answers to the most frequently asked questions about disc herniations.

Can I Prevent Herniated Discs?

You can help prevent the herniated disc in various ways, though because age is a factor, you can never eliminate the risk. To reduce your risk, stop smoking, maintain a healthy weight, strengthen your back and abdomen with frequent exercise, and practice proper lifting techniques.

What Are My Surgical Options?

Surgical options for herniated discs include a discectomy (removing the protruding portion of the disc), laminotomy (removing the disk), artificial disc surgery, and spinal fusion.

What Happens if I Ignore the Pain?

If you ignore the pain from a herniated disc, you could experience long-term chronic pain and permanent nerve damage. To reclaim your full mobility and quality of life, seek herniated disc treatment before your symptoms become severe.

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