Did You Know? Smoking can lead to degenerative disc disorders
Normal Spinal Aging Processes Cause Discs in the Spine to Dry Out and Shrink, Leading to the Increased Risk of a Disc Herniation
As the disc degenerates from age or injury, the softer central portion can rupture (herniate) through the surrounding outer ring (annulus fibrosus). This abnormal rupture of the central portion of the disc is referred to as a disc herniation. Herniated discs can be caused by various reasons from age-related to accidental causes.
Please use this guide as a resource for knowledge and understanding of herniated disc symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
Symptoms of herniated discs will vary from patient to patient and will be dependent on many factors. While some may not have any symptoms, others can find symptoms debilitating and cause a significant change in lifestyle. The most common signs and symptoms of a herniated disk are:
If a Medical Provider suspects a herniated disc may be the cause of the patient's pain, a diagnostic test may be ordered to confirm the disc problem and/or to gain additional information, such as the location of a herniated disc and impinged nerve roots. Diagnostic tests may include:
Depending on the severity of symptoms, treatments for a herniated disc include physical therapy, muscle-relaxant medications, pain medications, anti-inflammation medications, local injection of cortisone (epidural injections), and surgical operations. Sometimes, people with relatively severe pain early on can respond to these conservative measures, others may require a surgical procedure. Surgical options include:
For more information on herniated discs and other orthopedic conditions, please visit: http://orthoinfo.aaos.org