Healthy vertebral discs act as the shock absorbers in your spine, but if they herniate or rupture, your arms or legs can go numb, or you can experience severe back pain. A warm, compassionate orthopedic spine surgeon, Drew Brown IV, MD, FAAOS, in Tampa, helps restore your spinal health with supportive therapies or surgeries that alleviate the pain of a herniated disc. To get relief from pain related to a herniated disc and learn how to avoid them in the future, contact Dr. Brown’s team today. You can reach them by phoning the office or by using the online booking tool.
Your vertebral discs are rubbery cushions of tissue that separate the bones of your spine, also known as your vertebrae, so that they don’t rub against or collapse on each other when you move your back, walk, run, or do sports or manual labor. Sometimes though, the discs degrade, slip out of place, or herniate (pop open), decreasing the vertebrae of their natural shock absorbers. Stages of a herniated disc include:
As your discs age or are degraded from poor habits, they dry out and compress so they can’t separate your vertebra efficiently.
Your disc bulges outward, irritating the nerves in your spine.
The inner part of the disc breaks through the outer casing, extending outward.
The inner portion of disc breaks through disc casing and moves into the spinal canal.
Without the rubbery cushion of a disc, your vertebrae rub against one another. A herniated disc can also press against and irritate one of your spinal nerves.
Not all herniated discs cause symptoms. However, you might have a herniated disc if you have symptoms such as:
Rarely, a slipped disc may compress the roots of your spinal nerves and make you lose control of your bladder or bowels. Contact Dr. Brown immediately if you have this symptom. Contact Dr. Brown immediately if you have this symptom.
Many cases of herniated disc pain resolve on their own. You can increase the health of your discs by quitting smoking (smoking dries out your discs) and losing weight to alleviate pressure on your spine. A nourishing diet and exercise routine also helps preserve or restore disc health.
In addition to lifestyle changes, Dr. Brown may recommend physical therapy to strengthen the muscles and tendons that support your spine. Physical therapy also teaches you ways to accomplish tasks — including weight lifting and manual labor — that don’t stress your spine. If your herniated disc doesn’t respond to conservative measures, Dr. Brown may recommend:
To restore the health of your vertebral discs and spine, contact Dr. Brown today. You can make an appointment with him by calling his office staff or using the online booking tool.