Torn Disc

Torn Disc

A torn disc occurs in the annular tissue, which is the outermost layer of the spinal disc. When this occurs, the center of a spinal disc ruptures the exterior casing, causing irritation around the soft tissue. In some cases, a torn disc may go unnoticed, but if the tear is severe, it could apply pressure to nerves, leading to neurological symptoms. 

A spinal disc tear can be difficult to diagnose because the symptoms it causes can be similar to other conditions. It is also possible to be diagnosed with a torn disc even if you aren’t experiencing symptoms. Both of these situations occur because the symptoms related to a torn disc, also called an annular tear, are usually caused by nerve compression.

Causes

Torn discs can develop for a number of reasons. In most cases, natural age-related degeneration is to blame, as it dries out the bones, making them brittle. When this happens, the bones rub together which can lead to pain and discomfort. Aside from aging, there are other reasons why a torn disc may develop including:

  • Strains
  • Injury
  • High impact activities
  • Poor posture

Treatment

After arriving at a diagnosis, the doctor will encourage you to begin testing conservative treatment options. Oftentimes, this will include pain relief medicines, therapies, and other simple methods. However, if a patient tries these conservative methods and doesn’t feel any relief after a few months, they may be a candidate for surgery. 

BEST Health System’s experienced doctors specialize in noninvasive procedures and are dedicated to finding you the least invasive treatment option with the best results. If you are interested in learning more about BEST Health System’s range of surgical procedures, reach out to our team today and get started on your path to recovery. 

Symptoms

Some patients with a torn disc may be asymptomatic, but this condition often causes debilitating pain and can keep you from participating in your favorite activities. 

Some symptoms commonly associated with a torn disc are:

  • Numbness or tingling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Pins and needles
  • Lower back pain

Diagnosis

Should you begin to experience discomfort that you believe might be related to a disc tear, the first person to see is your primary care physician. Many cases of neck and back pain are caused by a muscle strain or ligament sprain, both of which will heal over time. However, if the pain lasts longer than a few days or weeks, and is accompanied by symptoms of tingling or numbness, it is more likely to be caused by a spine condition like a torn disc. 

A doctor will typically follow these steps when diagnosing back pain:

  • Review of symptoms
  • Physical examination
  • Neurological examination
  • X-ray
  • Additional imaging tests

BEST Health System

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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