A herniated disc is one of the common causes of neck and back pains. The term refers to issues with the spinal disc. Different terms may be used to refer to a herniated disk such as a bulging disc, pinched nerve, ruptured disc, slipped disc, and disc protrusion.
So, how does a herniated disc occur? How is the condition diagnosed? What treatment options are available? The answers to these questions will be a focus of this topic.
A herniated disc pain occurs when inflammatory proteins leak out from the inner core of the spinal disk. The condition usually occurs in the lower back (the lumbar spine) and the neck (the cervical spine). Disc pain is most common in the lower back where the spine bears most of the weight. The condition rarely happens in the mid-back (the thoracic spine).
The two common reasons for a herniated disk pain.
A range of methods can confirm herniated disc as the source of pain. The diagnosis begins with a review of the symptoms. The review of the symptoms includes the following.
Next, the medical history of the patient is reviewed. The review is carried out to rule out any possible conditions of the pain. This includes an examination of previous diagnosis, health problems, and past treatments. Information on sleep, work, and exercise habits are also analyzed.
The doctor then begins a physical exam to confirm or rule out a diagnosis made after a review of symptoms and medical history. The physical tests for the herniated disc pain include one or more of the following.
Also, diagnostic tests are performed to gain additional information regarding the impinged nerve roots or herniated disk. The diagnostic tests include CT scan, MRI scan, discogram, and myelography.
Treatment of a herniated disc depends on the severity of the condition. Some of the treatment options that a doctor may recommend include muscle-relaxant medications, physical therapy, anti-inflammation medications, epidural injections (cortisone injection), and sometimes surgical operations.
The treatment option is customized according to the individual’s specific situation. It depends on the condition of the spine around the affected area of the patient. During the treatment of a herniated disc, the patient is advised to rest and take precautions to avoid reinjuring the disc.