Herniated disc


Discs are round, durable cushions between each vertebra (bone) of the spine. They act as shock absorbers when you move. A herniated disc, also called a slipped disc, occurs when the soft center of the disc squeezes out through the outer layer. This leakage causes inflammation that irritates nearby spinal nerves.

Risks Factors for Herniated Disc

You have a greater risk of developing a herniated disc if you:

  • Perform frequent, strenuous activity
  • Have a family history of herniated disc
  • Are overweight
  • Are older (discs become stiff and weak with age, which bulging more likely)

Symptoms of Herniated Disc

A herniated disc in the lower back, also called the lumbar spine or region, can cause:

  • Lower back pain that is achy, sharp, or burning
  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness in one leg
  • Shooting pain from the lower back or buttocks down one leg (called sciatica)

A herniated disc in the neck, also called the cervical spine, can cause:

  • Numbness, tingling, or weakness in one arm
  • Headache, especially in the back of the head
  • Burning pain in the neck and shoulder that may shoot down the arm

Treatment for a Herniated Disc at Dignity Health

After our professionals provide a diagnosis, your doctor will develop a personalized treatment plan. In some cases, surgery is necessary to remove all or part of the herniated disc. However, most people with a herniated disc feel better with conservative treatments such as:

  • Home care measures, including rest, heat and ice, and posture changes
  • Medications, including nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, and prescription pain medicine
  • Physical therapy, including exercises, traction, and back bracing
  • Steroid injections into the spine to reduce nerve inflammation and relieve pain

Learn More

If you are experiencing pain and discomfort and think you might have a slipped disc, schedule a consultation with a spine specialist at St. Joseph's Medical Center. We offer the latest in specialized care to evaluate and treat cases of herniated disc in the Stockton Area.

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