A leading cause of chronic neck and low back pain is herniated discs, which can occur suddenly or develop over time. If you have a herniated disc, the multidisciplinary team at Performance Pain and Sports Medicine offers a comprehensive selection of conservative treatments as well as cutting-edge regenerative medicine therapies and minimally invasive procedures. To find out more, call one of the Performance Pain and Sports Medicine offices in Houston, Texas; or Raritan, Bordentown, East Brunswick, or Lawrenceville, New Jersey, today.
Discs are circular pads of shock-absorbing tissue that sit between the vertebrae of your spine. If the tougher outer layer of the disc gets damaged, the soft core can bulge or protrude (herniate) into your spinal canal.
Herniated discs are one of the most common causes of back pain, both chronic and acute. Pain develops not because of the protruding disc, but because of the nerves it presses on.
Many people have a bulging or herniated disc without experiencing pain because the disc isn't pressing on any of the nerves. If there is nerve compression, a herniated disc can cause sensations like tingling, prickling, burning, or numbness as well as pain.
Most herniated discs occur in your cervical spine (neck) or lumbar spine (lower back). A herniated cervical disc can cause symptoms in your shoulders, chest, arms, and hands as well as your neck, while a herniated lumbar disc can cause symptoms in your hips, legs, and buttocks.
There are two main ways that a herniated disc can develop. One is an acute injury where your back comes under such pressure that the disc ruptures. More commonly, degenerative disc disease results in flatter, weaker discs that are prone to damage.
Discs affected by degenerative disc disease are more likely to develop weak spots in the outer casing, allowing the inner core to protrude. This happens gradually, but you might experience sudden, severe pain when the bulging disc makes contact with a spinal nerve.
The Performance Pain and Sports Medicine team has considerable expertise in treating herniated discs. In most cases, the best treatments are the less invasive options, such as:
A program containing some or all of these treatments is likely to resolve your herniated disc pain and other symptoms. However, the Performance Pain and Sports Medicine team also offers advanced treatment methods when pain persists despite trying conservative methods.
Advanced herniated disc treatments available at Performance Pain and Sports Medicine include:
If your pain still doesn't improve, implantable pain management devices are available, including spinal cord and peripheral nerve stimulators and intrathecal pain pumps from leading medical suppliers like Stimwave and Medtronic.
If you need treatment for a herniated disc or other cause of chronic back pain, call Performance Pain and Sports Medicine today. You get the amount of one-on-one time you need with your doctor, and email access to stay in touch.