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Effective Treatments for a Herniated Disc

Effective Treatments for a Herniated Disc

Oh, that aching back! If you have back or neck pain, you’re in good company. In fact, spine-related pain is one of the most common medical complaints for both women and men, probably because people use their spine for so many activities. 

Lots of issues can cause back and neck pain, including a herniated disc. But while some pain, like muscle strain, tends to go away on its own, herniated discs need a doctor’s attention to make sure they don’t get worse. 

At his practice in San Leandro, California, Dr. Kenneth Light offers a number of advanced treatment options for herniated discs, helping patients get the treatment they need to feel better. Here’s how he can help you.

How herniated discs happen

Discs are spongy structures between the vertebrae. They work to help your spine stay flexible and to absorb shocks and impacts, protecting your spine and the nerves that travel through it.

A herniated disc is a disc that slips out of place, protruding out through the vertebrae and pressing on the nearby nerves. Sometimes, a herniated disc ruptures, leaking some of the material it contains and increasing local irritation.

Herniated discs are usually caused by wear-and-tear on your spine, which is why they tend to happen more often as people get older. Other causes include:

Smoking also increases your risk of having a herniated disc.

Symptoms of herniated discs

Herniated discs happen most often in your lower back or your neck, the two most flexible parts of your spine. Common symptoms include:

Sciatica is a type of lower back pain caused by a herniated disc. When a herniated disc affects the nerves in the neck, it’s sometimes called cervical radiculopathy.

Herniated disc treatments

In very mild cases, herniated discs may resolve with just a little TLC, including:

Injection therapy using corticosteroids and local anesthetics can be effective in relieving pain that doesn’t respond to those more conservtive options.

If painful symptoms continue, Dr. Light may recommend surgery to relieve nerve compression. Two types of surgery are:

Surgery is only recommended when your symptoms interfere with daily activities and nonsurgical treatment approaches don’t provide relief.

Get relief for your disc pain

Herniated disc pain needs prompt medical attention to ensure you get the most appropriate treatment. If you ignore herniated disc symptoms, they can quickly worsen. Depending on which nerves are affected, you eventually could have difficulty walking or using your hands, or you might have symptoms of bladder or bowel incontinence.

Dr. Light is skilled in diagnosing the cause of herniated discs, and he tailors every treatment plan for optimal results. To learn more about herniated disc treatments available at our practice, call or book an appointment online today.

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