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Herniated Disc

Discs are round, durable cushions between the vertebrae 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.

Risk 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 makes bulging more likely)

Symptoms of Herniated Disc

A herniated disc in the lower back (lumbar 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 (cervical region) 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

After confirming your diagnosis, our spine experts will develop a personalized treatment plan for you. In some cases, surgery may be 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 – heat and ice, and posture changes
  • medications – nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), muscle relaxants, and prescription pain medicine
  • physical therapy – exercises, traction, and using back braces
  • steroid injections into the spine to reduce nerve inflammation and relieve pain

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Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery

Blue Shield of California has selected French Hospital Medical Center as a Blue Distinction Center for Spine Surgery, as part of the Blue Distinction Specialty Care program. Blue Distinction Centers® are nationally designated health care facilities that show a commitment to delivering high-quality patient safety and better health outcomes, based on objective measures that were developed with input from the medical community and leading accreditation and quality organizations.

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Marian Regional Medical Center has been named one of America’s 250 Best Hospitals for a third consecutive year (2021-2023), according to research released by Healthgrades, the leading marketplace connecting doctors and patients. This achievement puts Marian in the top 5% of hospitals nationwide for overall clinical performance across the most common conditions and procedures. 

To learn more, visit  Healthgrades