Our spines provide the main support for our body. It allows us to stand, bend, twist, and perform other movements. Our spines are made up of 33 interlocking bones called vertebrae. Each of these vertebrae are separated by a disc, which provides protective cushioning and padding.
What is a Herniated Disc?
A disc has a tough outer layer and a gel-filled inner layer. When there is damage or a defect to the disc, it can bulge out. This is called a herniated disc. A herniated disc can irritate and put pressure on nerves, which can cause weakness, numbness, and pain. Also, a herniated disc in the lower back can put pressure on the sciatic nerve. This nerve travels down into the legs and cause leg pain.
Here are some of the common risk factors for developing a herniated disc:
- Aging/Wear and tear
- Heavy lifting
- Injury/Traumatic Accident
- High impact sports and activities
Treatment Options for a Herniated Disc
An MRI can be used to confirm the location of a herniated disc. For minor herniated disc cases, rest and limited activity are often the main treatment approach. However, from moderate to severe cases, a pain management specialist is usually needed. A pain management specialist can help a patient get the required epidural injections, medications, physical therapy, or chiropractic treatment.
A small percentage of cases do require surgery. If conservative treatment has not worked for you and has not improved your pain, then your pain specialist may recommend surgery. Surgery for a herniated disc usually involves removing only the bulging part of the disc; however, in rare cases, the whole disc is removed.
If you are looking for a Las Vegas pain management specialist, contact Apex Medical Center. Our main focus is on pain relief and providing innovative treatment options.
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