I have been diagnosed with a herniated disc, what now?
- Posted on: Aug 31 2022
All too often, we have pain in our body that is arising from pathology of the spine. One of the common problems that occurs is a herniated disc but what does this really mean. To understand this, we must first understand what an intervertebral disc is.
Our spine has intervertebral discs that are present between each vertebra. These discs have a jelly filled center called the nucleus and a rubbery outside called the annulus. The 3 main functions of these discs are to act as a shock absorber, hold the spine together, and allow for movement. A herniation is when the nucleus moves out of place and pushes into the spinal canal through the annulus. It can push into a nerve and cause pain, numbness/tingling, and muscle weakness. Every person’s exact anatomy and physiology is unique and that in turn makes every herniation unique. It is possible to have an MRI showing a herniation at the same level of the spine in two different individuals who experience different symptoms. The neural pathways are mapped out and it is understood which motor nerves and sensory nerves are most likely to be affected by the injury which helps to develop the plan of care.
After the initial diagnosis, pain medication and an oral steroid are commonly prescribed to reduce the pain and overall symptoms. Conservative care is then utilized which includes physical therapy, chiropractic care, and acupuncture. If symptom relief is not present with these methods, injections are performed in conjunction with the conservative care. Surgery will be performed if this round of care fails.
A multidisciplinary approach has shown to have the best results when attempting to correct underlying limitations, manage pain, and restore function. Make sure to visit a facility that has had extensive training and experience treating spinal herniations for the best outcomes.
Posted in: Uncategorized