With age and osteoporosis, the discs in the spine degenerate, breaking down over time. When this happens, the inner core of the spinal cord can actually leak out through the space between the discs. This is called disc herniation. Disc herniation can result in pinched nerves accompanied by severe pain. This kind of pain is called radiculopathy or sciatica.
What is Lumbar Disc Herniation & Can It Be Treated?
There are several different types of disc herniation, depending on the part of the spine that is affected. Lumbar disc herniation occurs in the lower spine, generally at the L4-L5 or L5-S1 level. Some of the most common symptoms associated with lumbar disc herniation include severe leg pain, numbness or tingling in the leg, lower back or buttock pain, and loss of bladder or bowel control. In cases where both leg pain and back pain are present, the leg pain is typically much worse.
In addition to the associated pain, lumbar disc herniation can also lead to impingement of the nerves. L5 nerve impingement can result in weakness in the toes and ankles as well as numbness or pain on the top of the foot. S1 nerve impingement can cause loss of ankle reflex as well as numbness or pain radiating down to the outside or sole of the foot. Treatment options for lumbar disc herniation typically involve physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation, and heat or ice therapy. In some cases, anti-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications or oral steroids may be prescribed for pain management.
What is Cervical Disc Herniation?
The upper portion of the spine in the neck and shoulder region is called the cervical spine and contains seven vertebrae numbered C1 through C7. Each vertebra is separated by an intervertebral disc made up of fibrous tissue (called annulus) with a soft center. These two parts work together to cushion the disc and distribute pressure along the spine. If the annulus becomes damaged, the inner portion of the disc may become separated and the spine may become compressed, which leads to cervical disc herniation.
The most common cause of cervical disc herniation is normal wear and tear due to aging. Sudden trauma such as car accidents or work-related injuries can also lead to herniation. Some of the most common symptoms of cervical disc herniation include pain or burning in the neck or shoulder region, numbness or tingling in the arms, limited mobility in the neck or arms, and difficulty using arms or hands. Treatment for cervical disc herniation generally involves a combination of lifestyle change and medication for pain management. Physical therapy can also be very helpful and surgical correction is generally a last resort.
If you are suffering from lumbar disc or cervical disc herniation, do not delay in calling Jersey Spine Associates. We have many years of experience in the industry so we will be able to diagnose the severity of your condition and recommend the proper course of treatment. Our team understands that spinal or back surgery is not always the best option so you can trust us to offer you several options for treatment plans, so you can choose the option that is best for you.