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Herniated Disc Pain

by Princeton Orthopaedic Associates

Herniated Disc Pain

by Princeton Orthopaedic Associates

Have a Herniated Disc? You Should See a Specialist.

The Essential Information:

A herniated disc occurs when the cushion-like material between vertebrae ruptures, putting pressure on nearby nerves.

Why it Matters:

Herniated discs can significantly impact your quality of life, causing pain and limiting mobility. Understanding the condition and seeking appropriate treatment can improve comfort and function.

The Bottom Line:

Recognizing the signs of a herniated disc and knowing when to seek medical attention are important steps in managing the issue. With proper diagnosis and tailored treatment, you can experience relief from pain and regain your ability to engage in daily activities.

If you suspect you have a herniated disc, don't ignore the symptoms. Consult a POA orthopaedic spine specialist for an evaluation and personalized treatment recommendations. With the right approach, you can find relief and improve your overall well-being.

Meet Our Orthopaedic Spine Specialists

To dive deeper, keep reading.

What Is a Herniated Disc?

Understanding herniated discs is crucial for anyone experiencing back pain or discomfort. These spinal issues can impact daily life and mobility. You can regain control of your health and well-being by recognizing symptoms, knowing when to seek help, and exploring treatment options.

A herniated disc, also commonly known as a slipped or ruptured disc, occurs when the soft inner material of your spinal disc protrudes through the tough outer layer. Spinal discs serve as cushions between the vertebrae of the spine, providing flexibility and shock absorption for the spine. They consist of a gel-like inner core (nucleus pulposus) surrounded by a tough, fibrous outer layer (annulus fibrosis). When a disc herniates, the inner material may press on nearby nerves, causing pain, numbness, or weakness in the affected area.

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Spinal Care at Princeton Orthopaedic Associates

Why you can trust us:

  • We have multiple Orthopaedic Spine & Back Specialists who treat spine & back-related injuries every day.
  • We have the Spine and Back Institute with a team of world-recognized back specialists, orthopaedists, and therapists who have focused solely on back, neck, and spine health issues for over 15 years.
  • We have a whole-body health approach when it comes to orthopaedic spine, neck, and back health. The health of the entire body is connected to your back.  

Want to know more? Visit our website.

Where Do Herniated Discs Happen?

Herniated discs can occur anywhere along your spine, but they most commonly occur in the lower back or in the neck.

What Causes Spinal Disc Herniation?

Several factors can lead to the development of a herniated disc:

Age: As you age, your spinal discs lose water content and, therefore, become less flexible, which makes them more prone to tearing or rupturing. This natural aging process can increase the risk of herniated discs.

Trauma or Injury: Sudden trauma or an injury to your spine, such as lifting heavy objects incorrectly, falling, or a car accident, can cause herniation of the disc. These events can create enough force to rupture the disc's outer layer.

Repetitive Strain: Activities that involve repetitive movements, lifting heavy objects, or twisting motions can gradually wear down the discs and increase the risk of herniation over time.

Genetics: Some people may be genetically predisposed to developing herniated discs due to inherited traits that affect the structure and integrity of the spinal discs.

Obesity: Excess body weight puts increased pressure on your spine and contributes to disc degeneration, which makes them more susceptible to herniation.

Poor Posture: Consistently having poor posture can lead to uneven pressure on the spinal discs, increasing the risk of disc herniation.

Smoking: If you're smoking, it reduces blood flow to the spinal discs, which inhibits the absorption of nutrients, which can weaken the discs and make them more prone to herniation.

What Are Herniated Disc Symptoms?

The symptoms of a herniated disc vary depending on the location and severity of the issue. Common signs include localized pain, numbness or tingling, weakness in muscles served by the affected nerve, and pain that radiates down the arm or leg.

What Does a Herniated Disc Feel Like:

  • Localized pain
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Weakness in muscles served by the affected nerve
  • Pain that radiates down your arm or leg
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When to See an Orthopaedic Spine Specialist

If you experience persistent or severe back pain, especially if accompanied by numbness, weakness, or difficulty walking, it's essential to consult an orthopaedic specialist. Additionally, it's important that you seek medical attention if your symptoms worsen or interfere with daily activities.

When to See a Specialist:

  • Persistent or severe back pain.
  • Numbness, weakness, or difficulty walking.
  • Symptoms worsen or interfere with daily activities.
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Are you suffering from back pain?

Please contact us! We'd love to help.

If you have back pain, please contact us and schedule an appointment. We have urgent care facilities all over New Jersey for your convenience.

Herniated Disc Treatment

Treatment for a herniated disc will vary depending on the severity of your symptoms and individual circumstances. Options for treatment may include physical therapy to strengthen muscles and improve flexibility and medication to manage pain and inflammation. In some cases, surgery to remove the protruding disc material is necessary. Because every situation is unique to the individual, we recommend seeing an orthopaedic spine specialist immediately if you think you have a herniated disc.

Helpful Stretches for a Herniated Disc

Specific stretches can help alleviate discomfort associated with herniated discs. Consult a specialist to determine which stretches are safe and effective for you. Weak core muscles are a common issue for those experiencing back pain, as they provide less support to the spine. Strengthening core muscles can reduce back pain. Regular stretching can alleviate pain and prevent chronic muscle spasms associated with a herniated or bulging disc.

Stretching Exercises for Herniated Disc Relief:

These stretches target key areas to alleviate back pain and improve posture, making them beneficial for managing a herniated disc.

Exercises for Herniated Discs:

Weak core muscles contribute to back pain by providing inadequate spinal support. Strengthening your core can alleviate this discomfort.

Things To Avoid With A Herniated Disk

If you're feeling the pain of a herniated disc, it's important to be mindful of the exercises you're engaging in because some movements can exacerbate your discomfort and potentially worsen your condition. If you know or think you have a herniated disc, you should avoid activities that strain the spine excessively, such as heavy lifting or sudden twisting motions. Listening to your body and avoiding movements that worsen symptoms is essential.

Avoid These Things if You Suspect a Herniated Disc:

  • Heavy lifting
  • Sudden twisting motions
  • Rotational exercises: These movements can exacerbate herniated or bulging disc pain by putting stress on the spine.
  • Leg raises: These exercises can increase stress on the lower back, worsening discomfort associated with herniated discs.
  • Sit-ups: Avoid these exercises as they can strain the lower back

This blog post is meant to be informative and should not act as a self-diagnosis tool. If you’d like to see one of our doctors, please contact us here.

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