Herniated Disc

When you experience back pain that shoots down your leg and makes everyday activities become difficult or intolerable, you may have herniated disc sciatica. Ending the pain through a nonsurgical back doctor becomes increasingly important.

One cause of back pain that shoots down your leg is a herniated disc, sometimes called a slipped disc or ruptured disc.  We treat many patients in Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Portsmouth, and Suffolk with this problem.

Your spine is made up of bones (vertebrae) cushioned by small pads of cartilage or by discs consisting of a tough outer layer (annulus) and a soft inner jelly layer (nucleus).

When a herniated disc occurs, a small portion of the nucleus pushes out through a tear in the annulus into the spinal canal. This can irritate a nerve and result in pain, numbness or weakness in your back as well as your leg.

In the neck (cervical spine), a nerve can become irritated and result in pain, numbness or weakness in your arm.

A herniated disc generally gets better with conservative treatment by physical therapists at a nonsurgical pain relief center like ours.  Patients are normally relived when they learn that surgery for a herniated disc is usually not necessary.

You can have a herniated disc without knowing it.  Herniated discs sometimes are visible on spinal images of the MRIs of people who have no symptoms of a disc problem. But, some herniated discs can be very painful.

Herniated Disc Symptoms

The most common signs and symptoms of a herniated disc are:

  • Sciatica — a radiating, aching pain, that sometimes includes tingling and numbness, that starts in your buttocks and extends down the back or side of one leg.
  • Pain, numbness or weakness in one leg, or in your arm.
  • Low back pain or leg pain that worsens when you sit, cough or sneeze.

You need to seek prompt medical attention if:

  • You lose control of your bladder or bowels.
  • You develop increased numbness or weakness in one or both legs or arms.
  • You experience back or neck pain that is disabling for several days.
  • You experience back pain that is disabling for several days.

To accurately diagnose a herniated disc, Dr. Bragg, a nonsurgical back doctor, will perform a thorough evaluation that may include tests such as an MRI, CT scan or Nerve Conduction/EMG.

Image of herniated disc

Herniated Disc
Medical Illustrations Copyright © 2010 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved.  www.nucleusinc.com

Herniated Disc Prevention

Approximately 90 percent of patients with herniated discs can be treated without surgery.  However, when the pain from the disc continues, an epidural steroid injection using  x-ray guidance can be helpful. Physical therapy is important for nearly everyone who suffers with disc disease.

Remember, with appropriate treatment, 90% of patients with a herniated disc can be treated at a nonsurgical pain relief center like ours.

If You Live in Norfolk, Chesapeake, Virginia Beach, Portsmouth, Suffolk, or Hampton Roads, Let Us Help You to Relieve Your Pain without Surgery!  Together We Strive to Knockout Pain®

Make an appointment to meet with Dr. Bragg to discuss treatment options for a herniated disc.