The spine is a complex and delicate structure that performs critical functions in the body, including helping with posture and movement. The spine’s delicate nature necessitates structural complexity comprising specific bones known as the vertebrae. Unfortunately, the vertebra is constantly performing activities and thus is susceptible to damage, including a condition called Hamilton herniated discs that affects the soft cushion between bones causing pain and reduced productivity. It is important to recognize early signs of herniated disks and seek emergency medical intervention to restore the structure and function of your vertebrae and thus be free to enjoy the things you love to do.
What is a herniated disk?
One of the most important pieces of information you should know about is the meaning of a herniated disk. Understanding herniated disk requires you to be familiar with the structure of spinal disks. Your doctor will explain that a spinal disk contains two main parts: a soft interior, a jelly-like nucleus, and a tough exterior, an annulus rubbery. Specific situations cause the annulus to rapture allowing the nucleus to push outwards, causing pain. This pain presents in specific body parts depending on which region of the spine develops the ruptured or slipped disk. Your doctor will perform a thorough physical examination of your spine, including leveraging specialized clinical imaging tests to see where the ruptured disk is and develop an appropriate treatment plan to restore a healthy spine.
What are the symptoms of a herniated disk?
Most patients with herniated disks do not experience symptoms, and those who do can receive relief without intervention. Most clinicians recommend conservative treatments for herniated disks but can perform surgery to correct structural complications. The lower back is the most common location of herniated disks. However, you can develop herniated disk in the neck. The location of your pain is associated with where in the spine the disk is and whether it presses on a nerve. Most patients with herniated disks report symptoms on one side of the body. Other symptoms of herniated disks include:
- Arm or leg pain: Lower back pain is the most common sign of a ruptured disk in the lower spine. The pain may present in the buttocks, thigh, and calf. Some patients also report foot pain that is associated with a ruptured spine. Shoulder and arm pain occur in patients with herniated discs in the neck.
- Numbness or tingling: Affected nerves cause numbness or tingling.
- Weakness: If the ruptured disk presses on a nerve, the muscles it serves weaken significantly.
When should you see a doctor?
Herniated disks are serious because they affect the spine’s integrity, causing symptoms that interfere with your productivity. It would be wise to seek emergency medical intervention to treat your herniated disk before adversities worsen your condition. Your doctor will conduct tests to determine the cause of your condition and develop appropriate techniques to restore structural and functional integrity in the spine. Contact Interventional Pain Management Associates to discuss your situation with a doctor about your concerns and receive appropriate recommendations to help restore your well-being.