A herniated disc can cause you pain, affect your balance, and limit your mobility. At Re3 Innovative Neuroscience Institute in Sarasota, Florida, decades of experience combined with advanced technology and world-class expertise to ease your pain and repair your spine. The team is committed to restoring your health and relieving your pain from herniated discs. Call to set up a consultation and begin the path toward healing.
A herniated disc refers to problems with the discs, the soft cushions that lie between the vertebrae in your spine. Herniated discs are also sometimes called slipped or ruptured discs.
Each spinal disc has a soft center encased by a tough exterior. When the disc herniates, the inner soft part pushes through a crack or tear in the tough exterior. Since the shape and possibly size have changed, the herniated disc can irritate nearby nerves.
Many herniated discs cause no symptoms at all, but others cause you pain, numbness, or weakness in one or both arms or legs. This may also affect your balance and mobility.
Herniated discs most often result from disc degeneration, the gradual wear of your discs over time. With age, spinal discs lose water content, making them more likely to tear or rupture since they’re less flexible. A simple twist, tweak, or strain can lead to herniation in these degenerated discs.
Improper form when lifting heavy objects is a common cause. In rare cases, a fall or blow to your back can also cause herniated discs.
In addition to age, there are a few factors that increase the likelihood of a herniated disc. Risk is associated with:
While anyone can get a herniated disc, these factors, along with age, increase your susceptibility.
The physicians at Re3 perform a physical examination to test your reflexes, muscle strength, mobility, and sensitivity to touch. Based on their findings and your medical history, this is usually enough to determine a herniated disc. In other cases, imaging, such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRI exams, as well as nerve tests called electromyograms may be necessary.
If you’re diagnosed with a herniated disc, you and your physician may consider a number of options. These range from a very conservative plan of avoiding sensitive body positions, following an exercise regimen, and taking some pain medication, to physical therapy and, as a last resort, surgery, a specialty of the Re3 team.
While surgery is rare, Drs. Farahvar, Olivero, and Wang are experts. In most cases, the surgeon partially removes the portion of the affected disc that is causing problems. In other cases, the disc may be removed entirely and the vertebrae fused for stability. The surgeon can also implant an artificial disc that mimics the function of the healthy one.
If a herniated disc is disrupting your life, consult with the Re3 Innovative Neuroscience Institute experts.