A herniated disc can cause radiating pain, such as sciatica, with nagging back or neck pain and leg or arm pain that ranges from mild to debilitating. At Spine Specialists of Louisiana, Jorge Isaza, MD, in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, specializes in spine conditions such as herniated discs, working with each patient to create a customized treatment plan to alleviate pain. You don’t have to suffer from back or neck pain. Call Spine Specialists of Louisiana or use online booking to schedule a comprehensive examination.

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What is a herniated disc?

The discs between each vertebra absorb shock and allow smooth movement in your spine. They accomplish the task through their unique structure. The rubber is comprised of rubbery pads with a fibrous outer shell surrounding a gel-like center.

A herniated disc occurs when the outside of the disc becomes damaged or weakened, allowing pressure from the vertebrae to force the gel-like material out of the disc. The bulge created by the herniated disc can compress nearby nerves, creating pain, numbness, tingling, burning, or other abnormal sensations. Herniated discs can also cause limb weakness and in rare cases paralysis and loss of limb movement.

What causes a herniated disc?

Herniated discs often develop from trauma or age-related changes. Discs may become torn, herniated, collapsed, ruptured, or dehydrated leading to painful syndromes.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

The discs in your neck or back may herniate. Symptoms may include:

  • Recalcitrant lower back or neck pain
  • Numbness, tingling, burning, pins and needle sensation in your upper or lower extremities
  • Muscle weakness in your legs, feet, shoulders, arms or hands
  • Pain radiating down your arm or leg, as in sciatica

What is sciatica?

Sciatica occurs when nerves are pinched in your lower spine. A herniated disc causes about 90% of all cases of sciatica. You can recognize the condition by the radiating pain that follows the nerve from the spine, through your buttocks, and down your leg.

How is a herniated disc treated?

Treatment for a herniated disc focuses on relieving your pain and restoring optimal movement and function. Your customized treatment plan begins with conservative non-operative measures, including therapy and medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, or over-the-counter pain relievers.

Therapy incorporates several methods, including:

  • Exercises to strengthen your spine
  • Massage therapy
  • Therapeutic ultrasound
  • Electrical muscle stimulation

Dr. Isaza may recommend epidural steroid injections which may significantly reduce inflammation and relieve pain so that you can participate in therapy without pain and return to an active lifestyle.

If your symptoms persist despite non-operative conservative treatment, you may need surgery. Dr. Isaza may treat your herniated discs with microscopic or minimally invasive surgery, which uses small incisions and thin surgical tools. As a result, your body suffers less trauma and your healing time is shorter.

If you have chronic neck or back pain, call Spine Specialists of Louisiana or book an appointment online.