What Is A Herniated Disc?

The spine is made up of vertebrae that are stacked together to form protection around the spinal cord. In between the vertebrae are where intervertebral discs are found. They act as a cushion for the vertebrae during physical activity such as running or walking.  Discs are flat and round, with a jellylike middle and a rubbery outer lining. When a sudden injury occurs, the jelly-like middle of a disc will push through a tear in the disc’s outer lining and put pressure on nearby nerves resulting in pain. This is known as a herniated disc as well as a slipped disc or a ruptured disc.

How Does A Herniated Disc Affect The Body?

A herniated disc can result from a sudden injury to the spine or from normal wear and tear over time due to age. A herniated disc can occur anywhere along the spine but commonly occurs in the lower back or neck. The pressure from a herniated disc irritates the spinal cord and nearby nerves causing symptoms such as back pain, numbness, or weakness in an arm or leg.

Causes

  • Repetitive motion – lifting, pulling, twisting,  bending sideways
  • Normal wear and tear due to age
  • Family history
  • Smoking is related to increased breakdown of the disc
  • Excess body weight
  • Frequent driving, sitting for long periods

Symptoms

  • Pain in arms, legs, back, buttocks, or neck and shoulders
  • Weakness in affected muscles
  • Numbness and tingling in the affected limbs or parts of the body
  • Sharp, shooting pain from buttock to the leg

Treatments

  • Corticosteroid Injections
  • Nerve Blocks
  • Radiofrequency Ablation
  • Physical Therapy
  • Muscle Relaxants
  • NSAIDs

Treatment for A Herniated Disc in the Greater Austin Area

Treatment for a herniated disc greatly depends on the severity of the condition. Our specialists may order imaging studies to be performed to determine how severe the condition is. They will also conduct a physical exam to determine signs and symptoms that are related to the herniated disc such as the location of pain, muscle weakness, and activities that cause pain.

Luckily, non-surgical treatments exist to help treat and manage a herniated disc. The use of medications such as NSAIDs, muscle relaxants may be prescribed to help manage pain and inflammation. A back brace may also be prescribed to restrict repetitive movements and allow the condition time to heal. The use of corticosteroids injections is a treatment option that your specialist may use to treat and manage pain as well. A specialist may also recommend physical therapy to work on exercises to improve posture and form. Those experiencing herniated disc symptoms in Austin, TX, and the surrounding areas can rely on Greater Austin Pain Center to provide them with the treatment they need.

Woman at elevators in front of San Antonio Eye Specialists sign.

Am I At Risk Of Developing A Herniated Disc?

Many risk factors can put you at risk of developing a herniated disc. Some of these are:

  • Family History
  • Smoking
  • Advanced Age
  • Heavy Labor
  • Obesity

  • Frequent Driving
  • Poor Posture
  • Present or previous injury to the area
  • Prolonged sitting

Along with the risk factors listed, repetitive motion such as bending sideways, lifting, and twisting can increase the chance of developing a herniated disc. Using your back muscles instead of leg muscles to lift heavy objects can also contribute. A herniated disc may be seen more commonly in men, as well as in the elderly due to the disc becoming less flexible and more prone to injury over time.

If you think you might be suffering from a herniated disc in Austin, TX, and the surrounding areas, and if you have any of the risk factors listed above, please call to schedule an appointment with one of our specialists. We are here to work with you to help manage and treat your pain!

Testimonials

"I am so relieved I could cry! Finally a pain specialist who listens, cares, and wants to help! Dr. Alan Silberberg has given me so much hope! As someone who has seen pain specialists for decades in different states, this is where you want to come. You NEED him in your life! My only regret is not coming in sooner."

Sarah Jean C.

"The staff is very friendly and I was seen on time. The intake process was seamless and efficient. Dr. Jarzombeck is always very kind and thorough in her explanations. These folks are a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend Greater Austin Pain Center and Dr. Jarzombeck!"

Kim D.

"Everyone is always very nice and courteous. Dr. Julia is amazing! He is friendly, kind and caring and so easy to talk with.  All the office staff I have had contact with has always been courteous and kind as well. Would highly recommend coming here!"

Lesley C.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I have a herniated disc if I haven't sustained an injury?

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Herniated discs can occur by sitting for long periods such as when driving a car. Sitting for extended amounts of time can cause increased pressure on the spine which can result in a herniated disc.

Will I have to have surgery to treat my herniated disc?

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Many alternative treatments to surgery can help treat the pain caused by a herniated disc. Treatment includes the use of NSAIDs, corticosteroid injections, and physical therapy.

Is a herniated disc the same as a slipped disc or a bulging disc?

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A herniated disc is also known as a slipped disc or a ruptured disc. The jellylike middle of the disc pushes through a tear in the outer layer of the disc. A bulging disc is different and involves the outer layer of the disc pushing out of its original place between the vertebrae resulting in pain.

Lunch & Learn With Our Doctors

Curious about Spinal Cord and Peripheral Nerve Stimulation? Join our doctors for an in-person lunch and learn session to find out more about these treatments and ask any questions you may have. This event will be 12–1pm, sign up below to receive more details and RSVP.

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Treat Your Herniated Disc at Greater Austin Pain Center

If you’re experiencing pain and discomfort from a herniated disc in Austin, TX, reach out to Greater Austin Pain Center. Our herniated disc specialists have experience in treating a herniated disc, and we’re ready to help provide you relief from your symptoms. For herniated disc treatment in Austin, TX, and the surrounding areas, choose the Greater Austin Pain Center experts.

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