Herniated Disc Treatment
A herniated disc, or slipped disc, is one of the most common types of back injury and often causes long-term pain and reduced function. If you think you may have a herniated disc and are looking for effective care, turn to Bart Gatz, MD, and the team at American Interventional Pain Institute in Greenacres, Florida. Dr. Gatz is a distinguished pain medicine specialist providing high-quality services for patients who have herniated discs and other back problems. Request a consultation online or by phone today to get started.
What is a herniated disc?
A herniated disc occurs when the tough exterior casing of a spinal disc becomes injured or torn, allowing the soft, jelly-like interior to push through. Most herniated discs occur in the lumbar spine, but herniation can affect any of your vertebrae.
The discs that sit between the vertebrae in your spine act as shock absorbers, protecting the bones and allowing you to move freely. If a disc herniates, the interior substance starts pressing on spinal nerves, causing a host of potentially unpleasant symptoms
In most cases, the symptoms caused by a herniated disc clear up on their own within a matter of weeks. However, if they don’t, it could mean the tearing is more severe. If this is the case, or the original herniation causes severe symptoms, the team at American Interventional Pain Institute can provide a speedy diagnosis and effective treatments.
What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?
Herniated discs don’t always cause symptoms, so you might not even be aware of the problem. When symptoms are present, however, they can include:
- Pain in specific areas (such as your back, legs, hands, or feet)
- Numbness in your hands, feet, or legs
- A burning or tingling sensation
- Stiff neck
- Muscle weakness
- Oversensitive reflexes
- Muscle spasms
Herniated disc pain is generally worse when standing or making sharp movements, and eases off when you lay down.
How are herniated discs treated?
A herniated disc can heal on its own, but the majority of cases need medical intervention. When you visit American Interventional Pain Institute, you first undergo a thorough evaluation and examination, including diagnostic imaging tests such as X-rays or an MRI scan.
Once your provider has a precise diagnosis, there are a number of effective treatments to relieve your symptoms and help the herniated disc heal. These include:
- Nonaddictive pain medications
- Plenty of rest
- Muscle relaxants
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Cold compresses or ice packs
- Physical therapy
Epidural spinal injections containing corticosteroids can also help reduce pain and inflammation caused by herniated discs.
In most cases, these conservative approaches result in relief of herniated disc symptoms, but some patients may require surgery.
For an effective resolution of your back or neck pain, call American Interventional Pain Institute or schedule an appointment online today.