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Phoenix Herniated Disc Treatment Options


Disc Herniations (Cervical, thoracic and lumbar)

Disc herniations occur when one of the intervertebral discs separating the vertebrae of the spine ruptures. When a disc herniates, the gel-like inner material of the disc breaks through a crack in the tough outer coating, often pressing on spinal nerves and causing pain, numbness and weakness.

People sometimes describe the pain from a herniated disc as a “pinched nerve.” A herniated disc may also be referred to as a “ruptured disc” or a “slipped disc.”

A bulging disc is different from a herniated disc. With a bulging disc, the degenerating disc material bulges out between the vertebrae, but does not break through the outer coating. Bulging discs are less likely to interfere with spinal nerves.


Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

Symptoms of a herniated disc will vary depending on where the herniation occurs. Disc herniation can occur in the neck (cervical spine), upper back (thoracic spine) or lower back (lumbar spine).

Herniated discs generally cause:

  • Pain in the arm, shoulder or one or both legs
  • Numbness or tingling in arms or legs
  • Weakness in arms or legs
  • Sharp pain aggravated by sitting (lumbar) or moving a certain way

If the herniation occurs in the neck, symptoms may be experienced in the shoulders or arms. If it occurs in the upper back, you may feel pain around the rib cage, chest, or in the upper abdomen. Lumbar disc herniations often cause intense pain in the buttocks, thigh and calf, sometimes reaching all the way down to the ankle or foot.

Some people with herniated discs don’t have any symptoms at all. In very severe cases, the nerve compression caused by a herniated disc in the lumbar spine can lead to loss of bowel or bladder function.


Who gets a herniated disc?

Most herniated discs are due to normal, age-related deterioration of the spine, but sometimes something happens that causes a disc to herniate. Trauma to the spine, heavy lifting, or sudden twisting movements (such as when golfing) can cause a disc to spontaneously herniate.

You can reduce your risk of developing a herniated disc by exercising appropriately and maintaining a healthy weight.

Treatment for herniated discs

Most herniated discs can be treated with exercise, medication and/or injections, and symptoms usually resolve within a few days or weeks. Typically, the pain will go away first, with numbness, tingling and weakness taking slightly longer to resolve.

In very rare and severe cases, a herniated disc will need to be surgically corrected. Whenever possible, Dr. Baig employs minimally-invasive endoscopic spine surgery to treat herniated discs and other severe forms of disc degeneration.

What Happens if You Don’t Treat That Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc can be a painful and frightening thing. But if you don’t get it treated it won’t just go away on its own. However, some people think that if they just get the right instructions on how to heal a herniated disc quickly, they’ll magically be able to treat their pain at home. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

Here in our Phoenix-based practice, herniated disc treatment options are available that can help you get herniated disc pain relief, enabling you to return to your active lifestyle and the things that you love. After all, home remedies can’t cure everything, and while you may feel some relief for a short time, the pain will eventually return, and the delay could actually make it all worse.

Here are some things to be on the lookout for if you have a herniated disc in Phoenix and you’re delaying treatment.

More Pain

If you have a herniated disc and you’re looking for pain relief in Phoenix, you’ll have to see a professional. If not, that pain will get worse, even if it doesn’t hurt that much today. That’s because a herniated disc is a condition that takes a while to set in, and the slow onset can lead some to believe that it won’t get much worse over time or that it might go away in a few days. It won’t.

Pain Migration

In addition to a slow increase in pain, neglecting herniated disc treatment actually gives you less options, not more. A herniated disc is often the result of bone on bone grinding, but it can also lead to pinched nerves, as well as tingling or numbness in the extremities. Furthermore, it can cause weakness and muscle aches, in addition to weird sensations in the lower body, legs and feet.

Tissue or Nerve Damage

But the biggest worry is that by leaving that herniated disc untreated, you could be raising the risk of soft tissue or nerve damage, which is the result of some kind of rupture or damage in the nearby tissues or nerves around your herniated disc.