Health TipsDisc Herniation Symptoms and Treatment

Disc Herniation Symptoms and Treatment – Disc herniation is a condition in which a disc has slipped into the surrounding tissue. This condition cannot be seen on plain x-rays. MRI, CT scan, and myelogram are common forms of treatment. A spinal cord stimulation test, or electromyogram, is not commonly used. Disc herniation can be treated conservatively or with surgery. There is no set timeframe for the recovery after conservative treatments.

Pain Conditions Caused by Protrusion of the Nucleus Pulposus

A herniated disc is a painful condition caused by the bulging of the nucleus pulposus (center). The bulging disc material inflames the spinal nerves and causes pain. Pain associated with herniated discs is often described as burning, sharp, aching, or shooting. The pain may also extend to the arm or leg. In addition to pain, the patient may experience weakness or changes in sensation in the affected area. If untreated, the condition may lead to spinal cord dysfunction and a condition called myelopathy.

The most common cause of herniated discs is the degenerative process. The outer fibers of the intervertebral disc are stretched or torn, allowing the nucleus pulposus to protrude from the ring and into the spinal canal. Although herniated discs are more common in the lumbar region, they can also happen in the thoracic area. Disc herniation in the thoracic spine is rarer, but the symptoms are the same.

Conservative treatment for disc herniation may be enough. Over-the-counter pain medications, home exercises, and physiotherapy are commonly used to reduce symptoms. However, surgical repair may be needed in cases where conservative therapy fails. While epidural corticosteroid injections can provide relief for patients, a discectomy is often more effective than conservative treatment for up to one year after the surgery. However, physicians should remain vigilant when treating patients with disc herniation and monitor for any sudden neurological changes that indicate a need for urgent neurosurgical referral.

Surgical Treatment for Disc Herniation

Surgical treatment for disc herniation involves an incision made in the back and the muscle that surrounds the vertebrae is moved to the side. After this, a small opening between the vertebrae where the disc has ruptured is created. During this operation, a surgeon may place a cage or use your own bone to fill in the space. The remaining part of the operation is similar to that of the traditional approach.

Surgical treatment is available for a herniated disc, though surgery is rarely necessary. In most cases, it does not require surgery, and patients generally recover within a few days. Even after the surgery, however, some patients may experience persistent pain for several weeks. This is not uncommon. It’s important to seek medical attention early to minimize the risk of further damage. A herniated disc can be very painful.

Disc herniation is a common condition. Discs have a gel-like center, or nucleus pulposus. As people age, they lose the elasticity and water content of their discs, and the annulus begins to tear or fissure. The herniated disc fragments can then squeeze a spinal nerve and cause pain, numbness, and weakness. Disc herniation symptoms can occur due to a trauma to the spine, or as a result of aging.

Hernia Discs Can Cause Significant Pain

Herniated discs can cause significant pain and may require surgery. Surgery is the last option if conservative management fails. Surgery is risky and may result in residual pain or neurological deficit. Physical therapy is the most effective treatment for most herniated disc patients. A healthy body weight and regular exercise are also important factors in improving outcomes. You should consult with your doctor before making a final decision. If conservative management is not working, consult a specialist immediately.

Disc herniation symptoms depend on the location of the herniation and how the patient responds to pain. Pain may spread down the arm to the shoulder blade. Other symptoms may include muscle weakness and numbness in the arm. Herniated discs can also cause weakness of the biceps and triceps. These symptoms are typical of a herniated disc.


Amin, Raj M., Nicholas S. Andrade, and Brian J. Neuman. “Lumbar disc herniation.” Current reviews in musculoskeletal medicine 10.4 (2017): 507-516.

Rothoerl, Ralf D., Chris Woertgen, and Alexander Brawanski. “When should conservative treatment for lumbar disc herniation be ceased and surgery considered?.” Neurosurgical review 25.3 (2002): 162-165.


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