Pain in your back or along your spine could be caused by many things. But one of the most common is a herniated disc and this can be very painful, leading to the possibility of surgery to find relief.

What is a Herniated Disc

What is considered a herniated disc? This is when you have a problem with the rubbery discs between your spinal bones. The spine is made up of a column of bones separated by intervertebral discs. They help the spine move and prevent them from grinding against each other.

These discs can rupture or move out of their normal position. This can happen in any area of the spine and can be very uncomfortable and painful.

What are the Symptoms?

Symptoms of a herniated disc include numbness, pain, and weakness in the affected area. The location of the herniated disc determines the severity. It tends to be more painful when pressed against a nerve.

What Causes a Herniated Disc?

Herniated discs are more common in middle-aged and elderly adults due to disc degeneration, which is a natural part of aging. But excessive force to the spine can also cause this along with repetitive and incorrect lifting or twisting. Obesity and lack of exercise is also a common cause.

Treatment Options

You should always receive a proper diagnosis to know which treatment is best for you.

Mild cases will require non-surgical treatment options such as anti-inflammatory medication to reduce swelling and pain. Physical therapy, therapeutic exercise, massages, and stretches are also recommended to help you find relief from pain and discomfort.

However, more severe cases will require surgery, like a laminotomy and discectomy.

During this procedure, your surgeon will remove a small portion of the bone so they can gain access to the spinal canal, known as a laminotomy. This is where they will then remove a portion of the herniated disc (known as a discectomy). In rare cases, additional surgery such as spinal fusion may be needed.

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As the leader in the field of neurosurgery in the mid-Atlantic region and across the country, the team is complete with specialized, academic-oriented neurosurgeons. Based in Arlington, Virginia, the Virginia Neurosurgeons have been responsible for caring for over 25,000 patients across the country and even the world.