Herniated discs are among the leading causes of back, neck, and leg pain. There are treatments that can help, and Rubin Bashir, MD, and the Texas Ortho Spine Center team in Houston, Texas, are here to put you on the path to pain relief and a healthier spine. The process starts with a diagnostic exam, which you can book today online or over the phone.
The adult spine contains 24 vertebrae, individual bones connected by flexible joints. Small rubbery discs between these bones cushion the joints and make movement possible.
Your vertebral discs have a soft, gel-like center surrounded by a thick layer of tough, rubbery tissue. When one of your discs begins to tear or leak, the condition is called a herniated disc. You might also hear it called a ruptured, bulging, or slipped disc.
The most common cause of a herniated disc is simple wear-and-tear. As you age, the discs in your spine become more rigid and less resilient. Even something as simple as a minor strain can cause a herniated disc.
The risk factors that increase your chances of a herniated disc include:
It’s often impossible to determine the exact cause of a herniated disc.
When you come to Texas Ortho Spine Center for a diagnosis, you begin by explaining your symptoms and reviewing your personal and family health history. A brief physical exam helps your specialist know more about where your pain starts.
Advanced imaging provides insight into the structures of your spine. X-rays, a CT scan, an MRI, and nerve conduction studies can be part of the diagnosis process.
Once your specialist determines you have a herniated disc, treatment can often be done without surgery. Medications and cortisone injections can reduce your pain, and physical therapy can strengthen your spine and reduce discomfort.
In cases where there is substantial damage to a herniated disc, surgery offers the best solution. Disc replacement is one way to go. It replaces your damaged or diseased natural disc with an artificial one that restores your spine’s normal flexibility.
Other surgical treatments include removing the damaged disc, fusing two or more vertebrae together, or removing a portion of nearby bone tissue to create more room in the joint.
If you have questions or concerns about treatment for a herniated disc, schedule an appointment at your earliest convenience. Online booking is available, and you’re always welcome to call and speak with a friendly member of our administrative staff.