Battling with Herniated Discs? Here's What You Need to Know

Herniated discs are a common ailment that can be extremely painful. The good news is, they're not typically a permanent condition, and there are many ways to help you get back on your feet. Seek guidance from specialists in disc herniation on the best treatments out there. In Houston, Texas, there are experts ready to diagnose and treat the problem. Consider targeting exemplary specialists for a herniated disc in Houston, TX.

What is a Herniated Disc?

Disc herniation is just what it sounds like. It's the result of a rupture in one or more of the discs that cushion your vertebrae which causes them to bulge out into an area where they don't belong. When this happens, you'll feel pain, and because the affected disc is no longer providing support for your spine, you'll feel pressure in the form of pain and numbness in your neck or back.

What are the Classifications of Disc Herniation?

Classifications of a herniated disc include:

  • Normal slipped disc It happens when the center portion of the disc bulges out but does not break the surrounding ligaments.
  • Protruded disc It typically happens when the outer part of the disc bulges out by exerting pressure on the surrounding tissue, sciatic nerve, and spinal cord.
  • Extruded disc It occurs if there is a complete rupture in the center of the disc that allows both inner and outer parts of the disc to bulge out.
  • Sequestered disc It happens when a fragment of the inner nucleus pulposus breaks away from the main part and gets stuck in one of the openings around it.

What Causes Herniated Discs?

Although there's no single cause for a herniated disc, it's usually the result of one or more small tears in an intervertebral disc which can occur due to strenuous activity such as heavy lifting and straining during bowel movements. Sometimes, a herniated disc can emerge from a spinal injury which causes the surrounding tissue to tear. 

These tears can also happen due to natural aging and changes in its elasticity, resulting in wear and tear. A herniated disc is most common among people who are experiencing arthritis and osteoporosis.

What is the Treatment Like?

The most crucial step in treating a herniated disc is not doing anything that can increase pressure on the affected area staying away from strenuous activities until your doctor says otherwise. Your doctor will assign you an appropriate course of treatment based on your condition since there are several ways to help you overcome a herniated disc.

Epidural steroid injections offer an effective way to reduce inflammation and pain associated with herniated discs without surgery or medication side effects such as nausea and vomiting, which may occur with oral medications like ibuprofen or aspirin. Steroid injections also provide an alternative to surgery which is another standard treatment option for herniated discs. Other options include medications and physical therapy.

Dealing with herniated discs is something weighty, but can be helped when you find a specialist. There are different treatments they can use, such as epidural steroid injections, medications, and physical therapy. They offer a solution depending on the extent of the problem.

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