Anyone can have a herniated disc, but they’re most common in men 20-50 years old. This type of back injury can cause a wide range of symptoms, including debilitating pain, but pain management specialist Jason Song, MD, PhD, can help. Dr. Song founded Palm Tree Interventional Pain Management in St. Cloud, Florida, to provide the most effective, whole-body care available for painful conditions, especially those affecting the spine, such as herniated discs. To find relief from your back pain in a comfortable environment you can trust, call Palm Tree Interventional Pain Management or schedule an appointment online today.
Your vertebrae — the bones in your spinal column — protect your spinal cord and other nerves. They also have cushiony, intervertebral discs that absorb shock in the spine. Each of these discs contains a jellylike center surrounded by a fibrous ring known as the annulus fibrosus.
When you have a herniated disc, damage to the outer fibrous annulus allows the soft nucleus to bulge out, compressing adjacent nerve roots or the spinal canal itself. This condition is also referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc.
You can develop a herniated disc for several reasons, including:
Being overweight or obese also increases your chances of having a herniated disc.
Herniated discs often cause pain. This discomfort can vary from mild to severe and usually grows worse with movement.
Additional signs of a herniated disc include:
Dr. Song can typically diagnose a herniated disc by reviewing the history of your symptoms and performing a physical exam. During this evaluation, he checks your reflexes, muscle strength, and response to sensation. Dr. Song might also recommend additional imaging, like X-rays, MRIs, CT scans, or electromyography, which measures nerve signals to your muscles.
After diagnosing your herniated disc, Dr. Song often recommends a combination of treatments. Whenever possible, he starts with the most conservative approaches, such as:
If you have an unstable spine, persistent pain, or neurological dysfunction that don’t respond to conservative treatment, Dr. Song might recommend surgery. This minimally invasive procedure involves removing the protruding portion of your disc to relieve pressure on the surrounding nerves.
In rare situations, Dr. Song might remove your entire disc and either insert an artificial replacement or fuse the adjacent vertebrae into place.
To alleviate your herniated disc pain, call Palm Tree Interventional Pain Management or schedule an appointment online today.