Herniated Disk: What you need to know
April 29, 2021

Herniated Disk: What you need to know

What is a Herniated Disc?

Whether it be pain in your neck or back, there is a chance that you may be suffering from a herniated disk. The spinal column is made up of several bones called vertebrae, and the bones are cushions by small pillow-like disks. The pain from a herniated disk happens when part of the disk protrudes out of the “shell” of the disk, called the annulus. The annulus is a circular exterior of the intervertebral disc that surrounds the soft core. If this becomes damaged or torn, the disc can slip through causing what is known as a herniated disk (also known as ruptured, slipped or bulged disc).

Who is at risk? Common causes of Herniated Disc

  • Being Overweight
  • Those who have a physically demanding job
  • Decreased flexibility
  • Smoking
  • Genetics
  • Improper Lifting Techniques
  • Having a sedentary lifestyle
  • Repetitive motions 
Herniated Ruptured Slipped Disc Medical Diagram
A Herniated Disc can occur in the neck or back and can be quite painful.

What does it feel like?

Those who have suffered from a herniated disc may or may not have felt any discomfort. Depending on the location of the herniation can impact what kind of side effects one may feel.

  • Muscle Weakness
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Overactive reflexes
  • Numbness of the foot or hand
  • Stiff neck
  • Tingling sensation
  • Burning sensation
  • Leg numbness

How is a herniated disc diagnosed?

Patients who are suffering from these symptoms will be seen in the office by a Pain Specialist provider. A thorough history will be taken along with taking note of the pain symptoms. Once the provider has established some basic information, they will perform an exam. The provider may perform a neurological exam looking specifically at reflexes, walking ability, muscle strength, and sensory motor skills.

Oftentimes, a herniated disc can be diagnosed during the exam.

If further evaluation is needed, a provider might order the following tests:

  • X-ray
  • MRI
  • CT Scan
Doctor evaluating spine for herniated disk
Your Pain Management Provider will help you find the best treatment options.


You have been diagnosed with a herniated disc, now what?

First, not all herniated discs require intervention. Sometimes a conservative treatment and follow up appointments with a provider are all that is needed. 

In the case intervention is needed, providers will recommend

  • Rest
  • over the counter pain medications. 
  • Physical therapy
  • Stretching exercises
  • Ice and Heat therapy

In certain cases, providers may recommend steroid injections into the area of the herniated disc. The injection can help alleviate any swelling at the site of the herniated disc, help with movement and manage any pain symptoms.

When should I see a Pain Management Provider?

Schedule an appointment with on of our providers if:

  • Pain associated with movement
  • Sensory issues regarding touch
  • Cannot stand up straight
  • Have pain associated with an injury

Get the pain relief you deserve

We have a team of highly trained health providers and pain specialists that are standing by, ready to guide you to the best treatment options in your area. A customized, detailed treatment plan is created for each and every patient. Reduce Pain and Restore Function. Ready to get started?

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We offer an unparalleled patient experience, bringing together the best treatments with the top providers to serve rural areas across the country. Our unique patient-first approach is changing the face of pain management. Our talented medical teams are dedicated to guiding patients to the right treatments and the best plan of care. A customized, detailed treatment plan is created for each and every patient, including all surgical and non-surgical options, to ensure successful outcomes.

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Patients may call our Non-Emergency Hotline to speak to one of our Registered Nurses about pain treatment options, or use our HIPAA Compliant eFax: 1.833.923.2295

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