Disc extrusion also referred to as a ruptured or herniated disc, is a degenerative spine condition that can lead to nerve compression and significant neck pain, back pain, and other symptoms. This potentially painful condition is often caused by the natural aging process, although injury and lifestyle factors can also be contributors.
If you suspect you have a disc extrusion or other condition in your spine, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your doctor. Though the symptoms of this condition may develop slowly, they can worsen over time without treatment. It’s possible to eventually find yourself having difficulty performing normal activities such as walking or household chores. Treatment of disc extrusion typically begins with a series of conservative therapies designed to relieve symptoms and improve range of motion while the progress of the condition is monitored over time.
Causes Of Disc Extrusion
The vertebrae in the spine are cushioned and separated by rubbery discs that consist of a tough, fibrous outer shell and a gel-like inner nucleus material. Over the years, these discs are subjected to a large amount of stress and the walls of the discs can weaken and become brittle. Eventually, tears may develop in the walls of a disc, allowing the nucleus material to extrude into the spinal column, potentially compressing a spinal nerve.
Nonsurgical disc extrusion treatment can involve a combination of traditional and holistic methods, including:
- Hot and cold compression
- Therapeutic massage
- Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
- Restorative yoga and other exercises
- Prescription or over the counter pain relievers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications
- Epidural steroid injections
- Alternative treatments like acupuncture and herbal remedies
Any treatment attempt should be performed with the close supervision of your doctor and you should keep him or her informed of any new methods youre exploring.
Some of the most common symptoms of disc extrusion and nerve compression include:
- Stiffness or soreness
- Pain at the site of nerve compression in the neck or back
- Unexpected muscle weakness
- Pain that travels along the compressed nerve
- A burning or pins and needles feeling
- Numbing or tingling
For most people, conservative treatments effectively manage disc extrusion symptoms. If your pain and other symptoms persist even after weeks or months of conservative treatment, you may be asked to consider spine surgery. Two main approaches to surgery can be used to treat disc extrusion: traditional open spine surgery and minimally invasive spine surgery. Traditional surgery is a highly invasive option typically requiring hospitalization and a long recovery period.
A minimally invasive spine surgery relies on muscle-sparing techniques and a small incision to access the site of neural compression. Through this incision, the surgeon carefully inserts small surgical instruments to perform a decompression or stabilization procedure. As in traditional open spine surgery, the surgeon removes all or part of the affected disc to relieve and, if necessary, stabilize the spine to minimize future compression of surrounding nerve structures. Because the overall approach is less intrusive, the typical recovery is shorter than for traditional open spine surgeries.
To learn more, contact BEST Health System
If you would like to learn more information about the benefits of minimally invasive spine procedures performed on an outpatient basis, contact BEST Health System. We are a leader in minimally invasive spine surgery and have helped more than 75000 patients find relief from neck and back pain.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms or recieved a diagnosis and need treatment, BEST can help. Take the first step towards relief today.
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