Do you have lower back pain or an achy feeling in your neck that won’t go away? You may have a herniated disc, also called a slipped disc, that requires medical attention by an orthopedic doctor.
Discs are round, durable cushions between each bone, or vertebrae, in your spine. A herniated disc occurs when the disc’s soft center squeezes out and irritates your spinal nerves.
Dignity Health Central California can provide herniated disc relief so you can heal and get back to a life without pain. If you would like to meet with a specialist for herniated disc symptoms in Central California, Find a Doctor.
Diagnosing Herniated Disc Symptoms at Dignity Health Central California
The location of a herniated disc may cause different symptoms. For a herniated disc in your lower back, or lumbar spine, you can experience:
- Tingling, numbness, or weakness in one leg
- Lower back pain that is sharp, burning, or achy
- Sciatic nerve pain with shooting pain from your lower back or buttocks down one leg
A herniated disc in your neck, or cervical spine, can cause:
- Headache, especially in the back of your head
- Burning pain in your neck and shoulder that can travel down your arm
- Tingling, numbness, or weakness in one arm
Certain actions, such as coughing, sneezing, or sitting, can make your symptoms worse since they put pressure on the affected nerve. Schedule a visit with your doctor if you have any symptoms of if they get worse to prevent permanent nerve damage.
Finding Herniated Disc Relief
A herniated disc can happen to anyone. The risk increases if you are overweight, have a family member who has had this orthopedic condition, or frequently perform strenuous activity. Aging also is a factor as discs become more rigid and weak as you get older.
Dignity Health Central California orthopedic experts can diagnose your condition. Your symptoms, a physical exam, and tests to look at your spine and nerve function help your doctor determine the best herniated disc treatment for your healing and well-being.
Tests your doctor may use to diagnose a herniated disc include:
- Nerve tests such as a nerve conduction study (NCS) or electromyography (EMG)
- Imaging tests, such as a CT scan, MRI, or X-ray
- Myelogram, which injects dye into the spine followed by an X-ray to see nerve compression
Your doctor will then create a personalized treatment plan. Initial treatment may involve:
- Medications, including muscle relaxants, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and prescription pain medicine
- Physical therapy, using traction, back bracing, and exercises
- Home care with rest, heat and ice, and posture changes
- Steroid injections in your spine to relieve pain and reduce nerve inflammation
If these treatments do not help, your doctor may discuss surgery to remove all or part of the herniated disc. Throughout your care, your Dignity Health Central California providers remain focused on your physical, mental, and spiritual needs as you heal.
Dignity Health Central California orthopedic care team offers effective treatment and pain relief for herniated discs in Bakersfield, Merced, San Andreas, and Stockton, CA.