Herniated discs can cause severe back pain if the damaged disc presses on your spinal nerves. At their offices in Appleton, Oshkosh, Fond du Lac, and North Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, the highly skilled physical medicine and surgical teams specialize in treating herniated discs. They use physical therapy and advanced interventions like spinal injections and offer advanced surgical techniques like discectomy. Call your nearest NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin office for exceptional herniated disc treatment.
Between each set of vertebrae that forms your spine, there’s a cushioning pad (disc). The discs absorb shock waves and keep your spine stable. Inside each disc is a soft core resembling jelly, protected by a tough outer shell.
Sometimes, the outer shell weakens and tears. The jelly-like core escapes through the tear (herniates) and protrudes into your spinal canal. Problems arise if the disc material presses on the nerve roots coming off your spinal cord.
These nerves spread through your body via gaps in the vertebrae. Pressure from a herniated disc could cause pain and unpleasant tingling, prickling, numbness, and weakness (radiculopathy). These symptoms could travel the length of the affected nerve. For example, with a lumbar (lower back) herniated disc, you experience pain in your leg (sciatica).
Herniated discs have two causes. One is trauma, like an auto accident or sports injury. The other is degenerative disc disease. This condition develops as discs age. They become less spongy, getting increasingly dry, flat, and stiff. A disc’s core can push against the weakened outer shell, causing a bulging disc. The shell might give way, causing a herniated disc.
Degenerative disc disease happens gradually with age, so it’s unavoidable. However, you’re more likely to experience disc problems if you carry excess body weight and don’t exercise regularly. Pregnancy is also a risk factor.
The NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin team determines which disc is damaged and why it’s happened to ensure you receive the most appropriate treatment.
Herniated disc treatment typically begins conservatively. Your provider will likely recommend physical therapy, including stretching and strengthening exercises, therapeutic massage, and passive treatments like electrotherapy or therapeutic ultrasound. You might also benefit from manual therapy.
Anti-inflammatory medication can help by reducing inflammation in the spinal tissues, and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections encourage new tissue growth. If initial treatments don’t help enough, you might need an epidural steroid injection. This contains a powerful anti-inflammatory medication and a local anesthetic.
Most people manage disc problems without needing surgery. However, if you have severe symptoms affecting mobility and quality of life that non-surgical treatments don’t address, surgery could be your best option.
The NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin team offers several surgeries for herniated discs. Microdiscectomy removes the damaged part of your disc. Discectomy removes the entire disc. Afterward, you’ll need fusion surgery to stabilize the spine or an artificial disc replacement.
Call NeuroSpine Center of Wisconsin today for expert herniated disc diagnosis and treatment.