At least 19% of men and women over 40 have a herniated disc, but treatments are available at Advanced Pain Management Specialists. As an experienced pain management specialist, Jerome Carter, MD, provides men and women in Baytown, Texas, with cutting-edge solutions for spinal issues, like herniated discs. If you think you have a herniated disc, call Advanced Pain Management Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.

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What is a herniated disc?

You have 24 vertebrae in your spine, and they’re each separated by a cushiony, rubbery disc that works as a shock absorber. These discs also help give your spine its flexibility. When one of these rubbery cushions gets damaged, it can bulge or break open. These injuries are known as herniated, slipped, or ruptured discs.

Because you have discs throughout your spine, any one of them can suffer damage. But herniated discs are most common in your neck and low back.

What causes a herniated disc?

You can get a herniated disc for several reasons, but they’re often the result of aging or injury. As you age, your discs begin wearing out and losing their elasticity. When this happens, they can become more easily damaged.

It’s also possible to injure one of your discs during routine physical movements, like bending and twisting. When this happens, the outer ring of your disc can break, which allows its soft center to come out.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

Herniated discs don’t always cause symptoms. But when they do, it’s usually because the herniated disc puts pressure on nerve roots in the area. When this happens, you can experience several symptoms along the affected nerve, including weakness, numbness, and pain.

The symptoms that arise from a herniated disc can change depending on which area of your spine is involved. When you have a herniated disc in your neck, for example, your shoulders, arms, hands, and fingers become involved. A herniated disc in your low back, however, usually triggers radiating pain, like sciatica, running into your buttocks, hip, and down your leg.

One thing that all herniated discs have in common is that movements like coughing and sneezing typically make your pain worse.

How do you treat a herniated disc?

Dr. Carter brings the most advanced treatments available for herniated discs to Advanced Pain Management Specialists. After locating your disc damage and evaluating its severity, they might recommend:

  • Medications like pain relievers or muscle relaxants
  • Cortisone injections
  • Physical therapy

If your herniated disc doesn’t respond to conservative treatments, Dr. Carter could suggest surgery to remove part or all of the disc.

To find relief from your herniated disc symptoms, call Advanced Pain Management Specialists or schedule an appointment online today.