Our spinal disc has a soft, jellylike center that is surrounded by a cartilaginous exterior. A herniated disk refers to a problem where the gelatinous material extends beyond the cartilaginous ring due to a disruption in the material of this ring. This protruding material pinches on a nerve root and causes extremity pain.
A herniated disk, can be painful itself and cause back pain but more commonly presents with shooting or electric type pain in the arm or leg from a pinched nerve. Depending on the extent of the pinched nerve, , it can result in pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg. Sometimes, the extent of this pressure can be so much so that surgery may be necessary but oftentimes it can be managed non surgically.
A herniated disc maybe caused by an excessive strain or injury. The spinal disc material degenerates naturally with aging and the ligaments that hold it in place tends to naturally weaken. Additional risk considerations include excessive body weight, physically demanding jobs, smoking and genetics.
At Texas Pain Intervention Clinic, we first treat our patients with conservative treatment options such as medications, physical therapy and injections to decrease pain and improve function. A treatment plan is formulated to meet the patient’s goals. If there is progressive numbness or weakness, a surgical consultation may be needed.