A herniated disc can happen in your lower back or neck. The injury can cause crippling pain, but board-certified neurosurgeon Scott Glickman, DO, FACOS, of the Center for Neurosurgery Las Vegas can help. He and his team provide advanced treatments for this common cause of pain so you can live a high quality of life. If your herniated disc interferes with your work and life, call the Las Vegas office today for an appointment or use the online tool to schedule.
Between each bone in your spine (the vertebra) are rubbery pads called discs. These discs cushion, absorb shock, and allow your spine to be flexible. The discs consist of a firm, rubbery outer layer containing a softer, jelly-like interior. When damaged, the inner part of the disc leaks out and irritates surrounding nerves, causing pain and dysfunction.
Herniated discs most commonly show up in the lumbar (lower) spine and cervical (neck) spine.
Your symptoms will depend on where your herniated disc is. If the herniated disc is in your lower back, expect to feel pain, numbness, and tingling in your buttocks and legs. These often result from irritation of the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is the largest one in the body, running from the lower back through your hips and down your legs.
A herniated disc in your neck can cause pain, tingling, and weakness in your shoulders and arms.
A herniated disc can be caused by an injury or the natural aging process. The wear-and-tear your discs experienced throughout your life causes them to lose flexibility. This stiffness puts them at greater risk of a hernia.
It doesn’t take a lot to herniate a vulnerable disc. Simply twisting and bending can injure your discs when they’ve lost their suppleness and flexibility.
Having a family history of disc herniation, smoking, and being overweight put you at greater risk of experiencing a disc herniation. If you have a physically demanding job with lots of pulling, bending, lifting, and pushing, you’re more likely to experience a back injury that herniates a disc.
Conservative treatments for a herniated disc include:
Even painful disc herniations usually heal on their own with rest, time, and noninvasive treatments.
In a small number of cases, disc herniations don’t heal on their own and require surgery. The herniated disc continues to cause weakness in your limbs. The pain is often so severe that your quality of life is seriously affected.
The exact course of surgery depends on your particular case. Dr. Glickman could remove just the offending portion of the disc or the entire disc. When the whole disc is removed, Dr. Glickman discusses your options with you, including spinal fusion or artificial disc replacement.
If you suffer pain from a herniated disc, seek treatment at the Center for Neurosurgery Las Vegas. Call the office today to set up your appointment or use the online tool to book.