A herniated disc is one of those conditions that feels as awful as it sounds. This form of damage to the discs that reside between vertebrae can cause neck, arm, leg and back pain, as well as a variety of other neurological discomforts. If you're having trouble getting around or enjoying your everyday life, rest assured that surgery isn't your only available answer -- and for many herniated disc sufferers, surgery isn't even necessary. We're happy to offer many non-surgical herniated disc treatment options here at Hogan Spine & Rehab in Sugar Land TX.
The vertebrae of your spinal column are cushioned from shock and friction by structures known as discs. The discs also help to maintain a consistent degree of space between the vertebrae. This benefit is an important one because it allows the facet joints, which connect and articulate the vertebrae, to function normally.
A vertebral disc consists of two main components. The inner material, which is made up of a gel-like fluid, is called the nucleus pulposus. The fluid is encased by an outer shell of cartilaginous material called the annulus fibrosus. This arrangement gives the disc its springiness and toughness.
Unfortunately, even the tough outer casing of a disc is subject to weakness and damage. When such a weakness develops, the annulus fibrosus may crack or tear. The nucleus pulposus then starts to protrude through the opening, where it may make contact with sensitive surrounding nerve tissues.
A herniated disc may occur suddenly in connection with an acute injury. An auto accident, an ill-advised heavy lifting mishap at work, or a slip and fall can dislodge the vertebrae and place a disc under sudden, extreme pressure. But herniated discs can also develop gradually, often beginning as bulging discs. An aging disc is likely to lose hydration over time. This causes it to flatten and bulge, straining the facet joints and placing the annulus fibrosus under extra stress.
Herniated disc symptoms can vary in type, location, and intensity. They can occur anywhere along the spinal column -- but they most frequently strike the lumbar spine in the lower back, an area subjected to an especially heavy load. Neck or back pain are common complaints, especially if the inflammatory substances in the nucleus pulposus irritate the nerve tissue. Nerve compression from a herniated disc can also affect the arms (in the case of a cervical disc) or legs (in the case of a lumbar disc). You may experience pain, numb areas, pins-and-needles sensations, or loss of motor function in the affected extremity.
A herniated disc may bring to mind frightening visions of major, invasive back or neck surgery, including spinal decompression or fusion procedures that alter your spine permanently. Luckily, most cases of herniated discs don't call for such extreme measures. Here at Hogan Chiropractic, we provide non-surgical treatment methods that can give you the same degree of relief, and in some cases, even greater relief than surgery might give you. Our safe, non-invasive herniated disc treatment techniques include:
Monday: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Wednesday: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Friday: 8:00am – 1:00pm