Herniated Disc

Coastal Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Center

Orthopaedic Surgery & Sports Medicine located in Port St. Lucie, FL & Stuart, FL

Experiencing neck or low back pain along with numbness, tingling, or shooting pain into your arms or legs can indicate a disc herniation. If your symptoms aren't improving or they're getting worse, visit the team at Coastal Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Center. With locations in Port St. Lucie and Stuart, Florida, the orthopaedic team can help you find relief from a herniated disc. To schedule a consultation and exam, call today.

Herniated Disc

What is a herniated disc?

A herniated disc is a spinal disc located between your vertebrae that ruptures, putting pressure on surrounding nerves and causing discomfort. 

Your spinal discs contain different types of cartilage. The outer layer of cartilage is thick and fibrous, so it can twist and stretch when you move. If the outer layer cracks or breaks down, the inner layer of gel-like cartilage leaks out.

The most common way to herniate a disc is through a combination of bending and twisting motions. These motions can occur when lifting heavy objects, exercising, or getting into an automobile accident. 

In some cases, wear-and-tear over many years can weaken the outer layer of your disc, and you can develop a herniation when sneezing, bending down, or doing a small movement that normally wouldn't hurt.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

Not all herniated discs cause neck or back pain, though it's possible. More common symptoms of herniated discs include:

  • Increased pain with coughing, sneezing, or having a bowel movement
  • Pain with bending or twisting
  • Numbness and tingling into your arms or legs
  • Sharp, shooting pain into your limbs
  • Muscle weakness in your hands or feet

 

Disc herniations are more common in the neck and lower back, though they can occur in your mid-back. If this is the case, you may have pain wrapping around your rib cage rather than into your limbs.

How are disc herniations diagnosed?

The Coastal Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Center team performs thorough physical exams and orders X-rays or an MRI to diagnose disc herniations. 

During the exam, your doctor takes you through a series of movements and stretches that can aggravate your symptoms. If you're uncomfortable at any point, let your doctor know.

How do orthopaedic surgeons treat disc herniations?

Coastal Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Center aims to provide conservative care and avoid surgery whenever possible. Conservative treatments for disc herniations include:

  • Medications, like non-steroidal anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxants
  • Physical therapy stretches and exercises
  • Cortisone injections

 

If conservative measures aren't enough, your doctor may perform minimally invasive surgery to remove the portion of the herniated disc that is causing your symptoms so you can get relief. Artificial disc replacements are available as well as fusion surgeries.

To discuss your symptoms and learn about treatment options for disc herniation, call Coastal Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine Center now.