Downtown Pain Physicians

Herniated Disc Treatment Specialists in Brooklyn & Manhattan

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Treatments of a herniated disc can range from conservative measures to minimally invasive surgical procedures. Our spine specialists use safe and effective anti-inflammatory medications such as steroid injections, nerve pain relief medications, heat or cold therapy, and endoscopic discectomy. Herniated disc treatment might sometimes include stronger, prescription medications. Cortisone injection can reduce inflammation around the nerves and the herniated disc and provide immediate relief from pain that can last for several months. Visit Downtown Pain Physicians and meet our team to get the pain under control in the safe, reassuring hands of New York’s best pain specialists, located in Downtown Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan.


Herniated-disc

Herniated Disc in Downtown Brooklyn & Lower Manhattan

The spinal column is made out of a series of bones or vertebrae, which are stacked onto one another. The column, starting from the top to the bottom, has seven bones in the cervical spine, 12 in the thoracic spine, five bones in the lumbar spine, which are then followed by the sacrum and the coccyx at the base of the spine. All these bones are cushioned by discs, which can absorb the shock that our spine is faced with during our daily activities, such as twisting, lifting, or walking.

The disc is made out of two parts. The inner portion is a soft and gelatinous area, surrounded by a tougher outer ring. An injury or a weakness can lead to the inner area of the disc protruding through the outer ring. This causes a condition that is referred to as a herniated disc, a prolapsed disc, or a slipped disc. It can lead to pain and discomfort. When the herniated disc also compresses one of the spinal nerves, it might lead to numbness and pain along the entire affected nerve.

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A herniated disc occurs once the outer ring of a disc is either weak or torn enough to allow the inner area to slip out. This can occur due to wear and tear that comes with age, but certain movements can lead to it.

Herniated disc symptoms

A herniated disc can affect any area of the spine. Individuals can suffer from a herniated disc in the neck and down to herniated disc in the back. The lower back is more prone to a herniated disc injury than the other areas. Herniated disc symptoms include unexplained muscle weakness, pain that extends to the arms and legs, pain that gets worse at night or during certain movements, pain and numbness on one side of the body, pain that worsens after sitting or standing, pain after walking short distances, tingling sensation, aching or burning sensation in the affected area.

The symptom that an individual will experience varies from case to case. If you notice symptoms of a herniated disc, it is important that you speak to a medical professional about it.

What causes a herniated disc?

A herniated disc occurs once the outer ring of a disc is either weak or torn enough to allow the inner area to slip out. This can occur due to wear and tear that comes with age, but certain movements can lead to it. For example, a disc can slip out of its place after we turn to lift an object or twist. Lifting large and heavy objects can put a great strain on our backs, which can lead to a herniated disc. People who work at physically demanding jobs, which require a lot of heavy lifting, are also at an increased risk of suffering from a herniated disc.

Being overweight can also increase the risk for a slipped disc, as it makes it more difficult for the discs to support the additional weight. Leading a sedentary lifestyle, which leads to weak muscles, can also be a contributing factor to a herniated disc.

What does diagnosing a herniated disc look like?

When you visit your doctor due to herniated disc symptoms, you will first get a physical exam. During the physical exam, your doctor will search for what is causing your pain and your discomfort. This might mean checking muscle strength and nerve function, and whether the pain worsens after moving or touching a certain area. You will also be asked about your medical history and the symptoms that you have been feeling. Your doctor might order imaging tests to help confirm the diagnosis. Some imaging tests that might be used include an X-ray, a CT scan, an MRI scan, EMG/Nerve Test  or a discogram. All this information will help the doctor to evaluate what causes the weakness, discomfort, or pain.

Can herniated disc lead to complications?

When e herniated disc is left untreated, a severe slipped disc can lead to permanent nerve damage. In some rare cases, it can even cut off nerve impulses to the cauda equina nerves in the lower legs and lower back. Once this happens, it can cause bladder control or loss of bowel control. A herniated disc that compresses the nerves can also lead to loss of sensation in the inner thighs, the back of the legs, as well as around the rectum.

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Treatment for herniated disc

Treating a herniated disc can range from conservative measures to surgical approaches. Treatment of herniated discs can in most cases involve the use of an exercise program, which involves stretching and strengthens the muscles of the back and its surrounding muscles. Physical therapy can also help, as a physical therapist can help you to learn about the exercises which can help to provide pain relief and can show you how to fix a herniated disc and its symptoms.

Cure for herniated disc symptoms can be taking an over-the-counter pain reliever, as well as avoiding painful positions and heavy lifting.

It might be tempting to rest and refrain from all types of physical activity while you are in pain due to a herniated disc, this can further lead to joint stiffness and muscle weakness and should be avoided. It is recommended to remain as active as you can, such as through doing low-impact activities like walking and low-impact activities.

In cases where your herniated disc doesn’t respond well to over-the-counter treatment for herniated disc, you might get prescribed stronger medications. Such prescription medications might include narcotics for pain relief, nerve pain medications, such as duloxetine and gabapentin, or a muscle relaxer, which helps to relieve the muscle spasms.

Steroid injections might also help you to relieve symptoms of a herniated disc. It is an injection with a much stronger anti-inflammatory effect, which is injected directly into the epidural space and can reduce inflammation around a nerve that is irritated and might cause back pain or leg pain and discomfort.

If your symptoms don’t go away even after all the noninvasive treatments, your doctor might recommend minimally invasive vs traditional surgery. A surgeon might suggest this surgical approach to remove damaged or protruding areas of the disc, which might affect muscle function. Another option of surgery is removing only a part of the damaged disk that is protruding. This procedure is known as an endoscopic discectomy.

In severe cases of a herniated disc, the doctor might replace it with an artificial disc or remove it and fuse the vertebrae. This procedure, as well as a laminectomy or a spinal fusion, is done to add stability to the spinal column.

Most cases of a herniated disc can be relieved with the use of conservative treatment. It typically takes up to six weeks for the symptoms and discomfort to lessen.

Can you prevent a herniated disc?

It might not be able to prevent some causes of a herniated disc, however, some steps can help to reduce the risk of developing one. Such steps include being careful when lifting heavy objects, maintaining a steady weight, and always stretching after seating for a long time. Exercises that can strengthen the muscles of the back, legs, and abdomen can also help to reduce the risk of suffering from a herniated disc.

Do you have any questions about Herniated Disc treatment? Would you like to schedule an appointment with the top-rated, best-in-class pain management doctors in Downtown Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan? Please call our office for a consultation and indicate which location you want to visit.

This page was published on Mar 15, 2021, modified on Oct 6, 2021 by Dr. Raj Raval, MD (Pain Management Doctor) of Downtown Pain Physicians Of Brooklyn
DISCLAIMER: PLEASE READ CAREFULLY

The information on this website is to provide general information. In no way does any of the information provided reflect definitive treatment advice. It is essential to consult a best-in-class pain management specialist in New York regarding ANY questions or issues. A thorough evaluation should ALWAYS be performed for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Be sure to call your pain doctor to schedule a consultation.

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  • Dr. Raj Raval, M.D.

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  • Dr. Rodion Erenburg, MD

    1. Board Certified
    2. Interventional Pain & Musculoskeletal Medicine Specialist
  • Education & training

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    2. Rutgers University Fellowship
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