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Treatment Options for Your Herniated Disc

Treatment Options for Your Herniated Disc

A “bulging” or herniated spinal disc may cause no symptoms, but it’s more likely to impinge on surrounding nerves and cause a great deal of shooting or radiating pain. Fortunately, though, treatments are available. From conventional to surgical, it’s possible to repair the damage and get you back to your healthy self.

At Center for Neurosurgery Las Vegas, board-certified neurosurgeon Dr. Scott Glickman and his staff understand just how painful and limiting a herniated disc can be. That’s why they offer advanced treatment options for their patients with disc problems. Here’s what you need to know.

How is the spine set up?

Humans are born with 33 bony vertebrae in their spine, but some of them fuse together as they develop, leaving an adult with 24. In between each of the vertebrae are spinal discs, composed of a hard outer shell (annulus fibrosus) and a viscous interior (nucleus pulposus). Fibers on the outside of the disc allow them to attach to the vertebrae above and below, stabilizing them.

The discs’ function is to cushion the bones, absorbing the shock the spine endures from running, walking, and jumping. They also prevent the bones from grating against each other and permit you to twist and bend.

Discs aren’t invincible, however. Trauma to the spine can cause the annulus to rupture, permitting the nucleus to leak out into the spinal canal, the region that contains the spinal cord and cerebrospinal fluid. If the nucleus presses against nerve roots inside the column, the nerve responds by generating pain signals, as well as by causing weakness and/or numbness in an arm or leg.

Symptoms of a herniated disc

While herniated discs can happen anywhere along the spine, they’re most common in the lumbar (lower back) and cervical (neck) regions. That’s because you experience the most movement in these areas, and they sustain the most wear-and-tear damage as a result.

The best-known symptom of a herniated disc is pain. If a nearby nerve has been affected, the pain can be severe and unrelenting, it’s usually felt on just one side of the body, and it often radiates into an arm or leg. A common example of this is sciatica. The sciatic nerve runs from your lumbar spine, through your buttocks, and down the outside of your leg. When a herniation of the L4-L5 disc impinges on this nerve, it can radiate pain all the way down into your foot.

Other symptoms you may experience with a herniated disc include:

Treatment options for your herniated disc

Here at Center for Neurosurgery Las Vegas, we start using conservative treatments: pain medications, muscle relaxers, physical therapy, and epidural steroid injections. We know that, given the right opportunity, the body can heal itself. We also advocate lifestyle changes, including:

In a small percentage of cases, conservative treatments fail, and Dr. Glickman recommends surgery to relieve the pain and pressure, such as a microdiscectomy. This minimally invasive procedure removes the part of your disc that’s impinging on the nerve, relieving the pressure on the nerves and eliminating your back pain.

Usually, the surgeon only removes a small part of your disc, but if the entire body is torn, he may need to remove the entire thing. If he has to remove the whole disc, Dr. Glickman discusses your next options with you, such as a spinal fusion or artificial disc replacement. He tailors the treatment plan to your own unique needs.

If you’re experiencing back pain and think you might have a herniated disc, it’s time to come into the Center for Neurosurgery Las Vegas for a consultation to discuss your treatment options. Give the office a call at 702-929-8242, text us at 725-210-0057, or book online with us today.

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