Disc Herniation: Symptoms, Diagnosis, How To Treat

Disc Herniation: Symptoms, Diagnosis, How To Treat

Diagram showing herniated disc
Disc Herniation Symptoms Diagnosis How To Treat-2

Herniated discs, sometimes referred to as ruptured discs, are a common spinal condition.  

The disc is a cushion between the vertebrae in your spine, and a herniated disc can cause pain and numbness in your back, legs, and arms. 

Let’s take a closer look at disc herniation, what causes it, the symptoms, and how you can treat it. 

What Is A Herniated Disc?

Disc herniation occurs when the outer layer of the disc tears and the inner layer leaks out. 

This can happen due to a sudden injury or gradual wear and tear. 

What Are The Symptoms Of Disc Herniation?

There are several symptoms of a herniated disc, and symptoms vary depending on the location. 

  1. Compression of a spinal nerve root: You will feel pain in one arm or leg, sometimes accompanied by tingling, weakness, or numbness.
  2. Back or neck pain with no nerve symptoms: You will only experience pain in your neck or back and sometimes in the buttocks.
  3. NO pain: Recently, professionals have found that not all disc herniations cause pain, nor do they always compress nerves. 

Experiencing persistent back or neck pain accompanied by numbness, tingling, or weakness?

Visit one of the chiropractors or physiotherapists at MSK clinics to find out what is causing this pain. 

How To Diagnose Disc Herniation

To find out if you have a disc herniation, your doctor, chiropractor, or physiotherapist will do a thorough history and physical exam.  

Depending on the results, your physician may order imaging tests.

  • MRI is the gold standard for finding disc herniations and the affected nerves. 
  • CT scans can also show disc herniation but are not as good at showing the disc or the nerves.  
  • X-rays don’t show disc herniations but may show other things that cause pain or push on nerves, such as bone spurs in the spine.  

If the imaging tests show a herniated disc, the doctor will likely recommend nonsurgical treatment first. 

Treatment For Disc Herniation

The treatment for disc herniation at MSK clinics combines spine mobilization, nerve mobilization, and strength exercises. 

Occasionally, they provide pain relief with a technique known as “traction,” but this won’t rreturn the disc to its original position. 

The chiropractors and physiotherapists at MSK clinic also advise their patients on how to avoid postures and movements that will aggravate the area.

Suppose this treatment isn’t enough to treat severe cases of disc herniation. 

In that case, your MSK Clinic practitioner will help arrange a surgical consultation via your family doctor.  

Recovery Time For A Herniated Disc

Recovery from a disc herniation is around 4-6 months. Depending on the severity, it can take over a year to recover.  

Treat Your Persistent Pain At MSK Clinics

If you think you have a herniated disc, seek advice from a professional. 

MSK clinics have a team of professionals with extensive experience treating musculoskeletal issues. 

Ready to live a life without irritating and persistent pain? 

Book an appointment today and let our trained professionals help your body move freely and without pain.