Back pain is a typical occurrence among people today. This condition is predominantly attributed to getting tired or old. However, this may not always be the cause as several problems exist that show this symptom. A condition like a herniated disk Woodbury may be a more than likely cause of back pain. Read on to learn more about herniated disks and possible treatment plans.
What are Herniated Disks?
These conditions affect one of your rubbery disks found between the vertebrae that stack to form your spine. Your spine has a soft, jellylike nucleus enclosed by an elastic, tough exterior. A herniated disk happens when some nuclei come out via a tear in the annulus.
A herniated disk can happen at any part of your body but most likely along your lower back. Depending on the hernia location, it may cause numbness, pain, or weakness in your leg or arm.
Most hernia patients exhibit no symptoms. Those with symptoms see them improve over time; hence surgery may not be required to deal with the problem.
Signs and Symptoms of a Herniated Disk
Herniated disks occur along your lower back and may also occur in your neck. The signs and symptoms depend on the disk’s location and whether the disk is pressuring a nerve. Herniated disks most often occur on one side of your body. Symptoms include:
- Herniated disk patients experience tingling or radiating numbness in the part of the body with the affected nerves
- Lower back herniated disks exhibit pain in the lower back, including pain in your thigh, buttocks, and calf. Some parts of the foot may be sore too.
Neck herniated disks show pain in your arm or shoulder and may increase when sneezing, coughing, or moving in a particular direction.
- Weakness in the muscles that host the affected nerves resulting in stumbling, or a reduced ability to hold or lift items
Herniated disks are caused by disk degeneration characterized by slow, aging-related wear and tear. As you get older, your disks become less flexible and more likely to tear or rupture with a slight twist or strain.
Diagnosis and Treatment
A typical physical exam is performed during diagnosis, but a neurological exam may be required to check your:
- Muscle strength
- Ability to feel pinpricks, vibrations, or light touches
- Walking ability
Standard imaging tests may also be needed, such as:
- CT scan
- MRI scan
Nerve damage may be located through nerve tests like electromyography and conduction of a nerve study that measures nerve impulses and muscle function.
Treatment may involve medications like:
- Neuropathic drugs
- Nonprescription pain medications
- Muscle relaxers
- Cortisone injections
Physical therapy may also be recommended to assist in dealing with the pain.
Your condition may require surgery if your symptoms do not improve and you continually have:
- Weakness or numbness
- Poorly controlled pain
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
- Difficulty walking or standing
Herniated disk symptoms can be reduced through various medications prescribed by your physician. Some rare severe cases may need surgery, but they have been successfully done before. Check us out online or call our offices in Woodbury, NJ, for any herniated disk inquiries.