National Spine & Pain Centers
1420 Spring Hill Road
McLean, VA 22102
Relieve Neck, Back and Leg Pain from Herniated Disc
If youre experiencing acute or chronic pain in your neck and arms, or your lower back, or even your legs, you could be suffering from a herniated disc. This commonly occurs in adults 30 to 50 years of age and can often interfere with the ability to work, sleep and enjoy many simple activities. Stop living in pain. Advanced, non-surgical treatment offers prompt, effective relief with little to no down time.
Why a herniated disc occurs
A herniated disc, also referred to as a pinched nerve or a ruptured disc, can happen anywhere in the spine, but most often occurs in the neck or lower back. Discs are soft, rubbery pads located between the bony vertebrae of the spinal column, which surrounds and protects the spinal cord and nerves. Composed of a thick outer ring of cartilage and an inner gel-like nucleus, discs allow the back to bend and also act as shock absorbers. When the cartilage develops a defect or tear, the nucleus can break through. Much like toothpaste, the nucleus bulges out, putting pressure on the nerves. Even slight amounts of pressure can cause pain, numbness or weakness.
We become more susceptible to herniated discs as we age because the water content (initially 80 percent) gradually decreases causing the discs to become less pliable and more vulnerable to wear and tear. Conditions that can further damage discs include heavy or incorrect lifting, smoking, excessive body weight, repetitive twisting, high impact athletics and traumatic injury.
The extent of pain varies between individuals from very severe to mild discomfort. Symptoms may be experienced suddenly or gradually and may intensify with prolonged sitting, bending, sneezing or coughing.
Fast, Effective Relief Without Surgery
Up to 90 percent of herniated discs can be treated without surgery. The first step toward relief is an accurate diagnosis. A thorough clinical evaluation, including an MRI, CT scan or EMG studies, will determine if a herniated disc is the true source of pain. Once confirmed, advanced, therapeutic epidural injections may be recommended.
This incredibly effective treatment is performed safely in an office-based setting. Guided by fluoroscopy (real time x-ray), a physician injects strong anti-inflammatory medication around the inflamed disc and nerves, significantly decreasing the irritation and relieving pain. Up to three injections may be given, usually two to three weeks apart, however, many patients gain considerable to complete relief with the first or second injection.
Epidural injections offer safe, powerful pain relief without surgery, general anesthesia, hospitalization or long recovery. In fact, most people return to work or other activities the same day. Talk to a pain specialist about how this technique may help you.