A herniated disc is a common cause of back and neck pain. Our spine is made up of 24 bones called vertebrae, with soft cushions called intervertebral discs in between them. These discs act as shock absorbers for our spine and allow our body to move. Intervertebral discs are shaped like jelly donuts with a tough, fibrous outer portion and a soft, gel-like inner portion. If the outer portion tears, it can cause a bulge or herniation, which can irritate the nerves and cause pain.
Disc injuries can occur from accidents or from degeneration and wear and tear on the body. Not all disc injuries result in pain or require surgery, and some disc bulges can occur naturally without causing any symptoms. A herniated disc can also occur when the disc bulge pinches a nerve exiting the spinal cord, resulting in pain, weakness or abnormal sensations down the arm or leg.
Disc herniations are one of the most common conditions we treat. In order to do this, we follow a simple 3 step process:
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