A herniated disc, also called a “slipped” or “ruptured” disc, occurs when the soft inner component of a spinal disc pushes through its tough exterior, subsequently irritating nearby nerves and causing pain. Depending on the condition’s severity, location, and symptoms, a herniated disc may require an interventional treatment or surgical intervention for optimal pain relief.
Causes of a Herniated Disc
Gradual wear and tear from aging is generally the most common cause of a herniated disc. As the body ages, the spine loses its elasticity as spinal discs naturally lose their water content. Over time, the spine becomes less flexible, causing spinal discs to tear or rupture. Other causes of a herniated disc may include a traumatic injury, spinal disease, obesity, or overexertion of the spine.
Herniated Disc Symptoms
Herniated discs may cause pain symptoms in an area other than the exact location in the spine where the herniation or injury has occurred. Common signs and symptoms of a herniated disc may include:
- Sharp pain that is most intense in the buttocks, thighs, and calves
- Pain that radiates toward the feet, shoulders, or neck
- Pain that occurs shortly after sneezing or abruptly moving
- Numbness or tingling in the arms, hands, legs or feet
- Weakness that impairs the ability to move, hold items, or lift objects overhead, etc.
How to Treat a Herniated Disc
Interventional pain treatment may be recommended to mitigate pain from a herniated disc. Some of these treatment options include:
Severely damaged spinal discs that cause significant pain and disability and damage to the spine’s structure may require a minimally invasive spine surgery such as vertebroplasty.