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What Exactly is a Herniated Disc?

Last updated 3 years ago

The father of medicine, Hippocrates, once said, “Look to the spine for the cause of disease.” When there are issues with your spine health, it can negatively affect all areas of your body. Certain medical conditions can harm your spine. Read on to learn more about a common back problem, herniated discs, and what you can do to resolve them:

  • Spinal Disc: The spine is made up of vertebrae. Between each vertebra is a soft cushion called a spinal disc. As we age, the discs become increasingly rigid and in as many as 30% of people, there is disc deterioration.

  • Rupture: An inelastic disc has a larger chance of rupturing, meaning it pushes out of its usual boundary. This is the actual disc herniation. It bulges out from the vertebra, pinching the spinal nerves and spinal cord. This can be caused by an accident or as a result of repeated straining on the spine.

  • Symptoms: Pinched spinal nerves and spinal cords don’t work properly, meaning that signals aren’t able to get through the spine properly. Muscle weakness, tingling and numbness, and sudden pain down your arms or legs are all signs that a herniated disc is pressing against the nerves.

  • Diagnosis: Back pain, leg pain, and weakness of lower extremity muscles are often diagnosed as a herniated disc. A physical examination from your physician testing for sensation, muscle strength, and reflexes can ultimately determine the problem.

Don’t hesitate to talk to a doctor about unjustifiable pain in your body. Early intervention is the best possible method for preventing long-term problems. At Garden State Pain Management, our certified pain management specialist works to provide treatment with a therapy program to avoid the need for surgery. For more information or to set up an appointment with Dr. Koppel, call (888) 481-6521. 



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