When discussing a herniated, or bulging, disc, it’s helpful to step back and review the role discs play in your spine.
Your spine is made up of 33 vertebrae and 23 discs, which are broken out in the following areas:
The discs are located between your vertebrae and perform the following functions:
The discs themselves are comprised of a tough outer layer with a gel-like substance inside.
A herniated disc is a term used to describe the following:
The gel-like substance inside one of your discs leaks out and irritates the surrounding nerves.
In this scenario, your disc itself has deteriorated, causing your bones to rub together painfully.
Herniated discs occur most often in your lumbar spine, or low back, which stands to reason given that this area does most of the heavy lifting for your spine.
The most common symptoms of a disc problem are:
The pain or tingling may be constant, or it may come and go, depending on your movements and position.
By far the leading cause of disc problems is simple age and wear and tear. Over time, your discs wear down, often losing hydration and becoming more brittle with age. In this condition, your discs are more susceptible to rupture, even with simple movements.
There’s no simple answer to this question since it depends on the location and nature of your problem disc. After a thorough examination and review, as well as advanced imaging, Dr. Bertram makes treatment recommendations based on your individual goals and circumstances.
If a herniated disc is having an impact on your ability to move about without pain, call Martin Bertram, MD, for a consultation, or use the online booking tool to schedule an appointment.
At Martin Bertram, MD, we accept several insurance plans. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.