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Herniated Disc: Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes, and Prevention

Herniated discs occur when fragments of the disc nucleus break through the annulus and enter the spinal canal through tears or ruptures in the annulus. The development of a herniated disc usually occurs at an early stage of the degeneration process when the disc first becomes herniated. Symptoms of herniated discs are rare. A herniated disc does not typically cause pain, particularly if the disc is not compressing nerves. An affected nerve can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the limbs. People who suffer from these symptoms tend to improve over time. Herniated discs can cause severe pain, but there are several promising treatments available. 

Symptoms of Herniated Disc

Herniated discs commonly affect the lower back and neck. An individual must determine where the disc is located in order to determine whether it is pressing on a nerve. The majority of herniated discs occur on one side of the body.

  • You may also experience pain in your buttocks, thigh, or calf if your herniated disc is in your lower back.

  • It is generally the shoulder and arm that suffer the most pain as a result of a herniated disc in the neck

  • An individual who suffers from a herniated disc may experience numbness or tingling in the area affected by the herniation. 

  • As a result of nerve damage, muscles served by those nerves become weak. 

  • Stumbling or difficulty lifting and holding objects.

Symptoms do not always accompany herniated discs. A person may not be aware of the presence of this condition unless an X-ray of his or her spine indicates it.

Are You At Risk Of A Herniated Disc?

You may be more likely to develop a herniated disc if you are subject to certain factors.A few of the most important ones are as follows:

  • The majority of herniated discs occur in men between the ages of 20 and 50.

  • The use of your back muscles as opposed to your legs when lifting heavy objects can result in a herniated disc. Lifting while twisting can also result in back injury. By lifting with your legs rather than your back, you may be able to protect your spine. 

  • Having lower back pain may be the result of being overweight. Repetitive activities can put a strain on your spine as a result of the strain they cause. The physical demands of many jobs are high. It may be necessary to lift, pull, bend, or twist constantly in some cases. You can protect your back by lifting and moving safely. 

  • Sitting for a long period of time, as well as the vibrations of a car engine, can exert pressure on your spine and discs. 

  • The benefits of regular exercise include the prevention of a number of medical conditions, including herniated discs. 

  • According to research, smoking reduces oxygen supply to the disc, resulting in a faster degeneration process 

What Is The Proper Diagnosis of A Herniated Disc?

An in-depth examination will be conducted by your healthcare provider. As well as evaluating your pain, muscular reflexes, sensations, and strength, your provider will also perform a body composition assessment. Depending on your provider, you may also receive:

  • Electromyogram (EMG): There are various methods for assessing the function of the nerves, such as insertion of small needles into various muscles. The result of an EMG may indicate that a herniated disc may have an effect on one or more nerves. 

  • Myelogram: Under X-ray guidance, a myelogram involves injecting dye into your spinal column and then tracing the images using a CT scanner. Using the dye, it is possible to determine the location of the herniated disc as well as the narrowing of the spinal canal (spinal stenosis). 

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI): MRIs are one of the most accurate diagnostic imaging tests available today for the diagnosis of herniated discs. For those who suffer from back or neck pain, it is advisable to undergo an X-ray in order to eliminate other causes. 

  • Computed Tomography (CT): CT scans provide an image of the spine's bones.Healing herniated discs may put pressure on the spinal cord.

What Is The Appropriate Treatment For Slipped Discs?

Under Dr Ali Pain Management, our team of specialists will customize a treatment plan for your specific needs.The symptoms of the disease may require more advanced treatment if they do not improve. A healthcare provider may recommend the following: 

  • Medication 

If your healthcare provider prescribes pain relievers or muscle relaxants to you, you can expect these to be effective.

  • Physical Therapy

The purpose of physical therapy is to relieve nerve pressure through exercise programs.The benefits of exercise include the relaxation of tight muscles and the improvement of blood circulation. 

  • Epidural Steroid Injection

By injecting a cortisone-like medication into the nerve, you will be able to temporarily relieve the pain caused by nerves. After trying other nonsurgical treatments but not finding relief after six weeks or more, epidural injections can help. Within three months of surgery, epidural steroids increase infection risks. Ask your surgeon about these risks. These non-surgical treatments are not able to heal herniated discs. Your body will heal the disc while relieving your symptoms. Natural processes lead to the absorption of herniated discs.

  • Surgery

Certain circumstances may necessitate surgical intervention. If other options do not prove effective, surgery may be necessary in non-emergency situations. One type of surgery is Percutaneous discectomy.

  • Percutaneous Discectomy

A discectomy involves removing a segment of the spinal column through a small hole in the floor of the back. An effective treatment for herniated discs that press against nerves or the spinal cord is percutaneous discectomy. A small incision is made between the vertebrae and a tiny needle is inserted into the disc middle. Percutaneous discectomy removes fragments of discs and deviated disc material to relieve nerve compression. As a Percutaneous Discectomy expert, Dr. Z has a wide range of experience and knowledge.


Disc herniation cannot always be prevented. Some of the factors that increase herniation risk include aging, genetics, and driving frequency. The risk may be reduced, however, if safer lifting techniques are used, smoking is stopped, and weight is managed. Herniated disc symptoms can be severe, but the right treatment can provide relief. Pain medication and physical therapy are among the available treatments. It is usually not necessary to intervene in most cases. Depending on the severity of the condition, surgery may be necessary.

Our premier pain management specialists can help you with any pain management problem that you are experiencing by contacting one of our offices. Our staff will be able to assist you in any way they can.

Dr. Rao K. Ali M.D.

Dr. Rao Ali, a board-certified pain management physician, leads the clinic, which specializes in nonsurgical treatment. The physician has experience in the emergency room as well as training in pain management and rehabilitation. As a personal physician, he works with each patient to develop a treatment plan that will minimize or eliminate their pain. Providing expert diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of conditions, Pain Management In Dallas, PA provides a comprehensive range of services. These services include neck pain, back pain, hip and knee pain, fibromyalgia, neuropathy, complex regional pain syndrome, headaches, migraines, and many others.