Treatment for Herniated Disc in Boston, MA
What Is a Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc is a common injury that can affect any part of the spine. A herniated disc can cause severe pain and other problems in the arms or legs.
If you’re struggling with symptoms of a herniated disc in the Boston area, contact spine surgeon Frank Pedlow, MD today to schedule an appointment. Dr. Pedlow is a member of the North American Spine Society and has more than 30 years of experience treating herniated discs. Give our office a call at (617) 227-9300 or request an appointment through our secure online form.
Vertebral discs are flexible, rubbery cushions that support the vertebral bones. They allow the spine to twist and bend. Each disc has a soft inner nucleus that is surrounded by a fibrous outer wall.
What Causes Herniated Discs?
Herniated discs commonly result from age-related weakening of the spinal discs. This is called disc degeneration, and it can occur gradually over many years as a result of normal wear and tear on the spine. A herniated disc can also result from a traumatic injury, or from lifting a heavy object improperly.
What Are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?
Symptoms of a herniated disc vary depending on the location of the disc and the severity of the rupture. Some herniated discs cause no symptoms, and a person with this type of injury may not realize the disc is damaged. But a herniated disc can also cause severe pain, numbness or tingling, and weakness. Most herniated discs occur in the lower back, where they can cause symptoms in the buttocks, legs and feet. Herniated discs also occur in the neck, where they can cause symptoms in the shoulders, arms and hands.
What Are the Types of Herniated Discs?
Lumbar Herniated Disc
A Lumbar Herniated Disc affects the lower back and is the most common herniated disc. Luckily, they are also the least serious, but still cause lower back pain. The damaged or deteriorated disc is located right under the spinal nerve root and puts a great amount of pressure on the nerve. Aside from lower back pain, a Lumbar Herniated Disc also causes leg and sciatica pain and/or tingling. This is most common to begin for the 40-60 year age group.
Cervical Herniated Disc
A Cervical Herniated Disc is when one of the discs in your neck herniates. The disc then presses on the adjacent nerve root and causes severe neck pain. A lot of time, this gets diagnosed as a pinched nerve. The pain radiates down the shoulder and arm. This is most common to begin for the 30-50 year age group. Symptoms also happen fairly spontaneously.
Thoracic Herniated Disc
a Thoracic Herniated Disc can be very serious. This is because the most common cause of this form of herniated disc is generative disc disease. This is when the outer fibers weaken over time due to age. This can lead to other serious medical conditions stemming from a weakened spine. This also tends to have the most impact on mobility and organ function. This is most common to begin at an older age, usually around 50-60.
Treatment for a Herniated Disc in Boston, MA
Treatment options for a herniated disc depend on the location and severity of the injury. A herniated disc may be treated with pain-relieving medications, muscle relaxers, and corticosteroid injections. A person with a herniated disc may benefit from physical therapy. If these methods are not effective, the disc may need to be treated with a surgical procedure.