Disc herniation becomes more and more common as people get older. If you’re experiencing intense pain or discomfort caused by a herniated disc in the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar region of the spine, we may be able to help you manage your pain.
Located in San Antonio, Texas, Innovative Spine is committed to helping our patients live comfortable, prosperous lives. Our practice is led by Dr. Frank Kuwamura, a physician board-certified in orthopedic spine care who has 19 years of experience in his field. If you’d like more information about our practice or are interested in scheduling a consultation appointment, contact us today!
What is Disc Herniation?
Between each of the vertebrae of the spine are structures called discs that act as shock absorbers between adjacent vertebrae. These discs hold the vertebrae of the spine together, while still allowing for controlled mobility in its structure. Spinal discs have a soft center, encased by a tougher exterior.
Over time, the strength and integrity of this exterior can begin to degrade, sometimes allowing some of the soft material that makes up the center of the disc to push out through a crack in its exterior. This is referred to as disc herniation. Disc herniation primarily affects individuals between the ages of 30 and 50. Also called a slipped disc, a herniated disc can irritate the nearby nerves or even the spinal cord, causing weakness, pain, and numbness in various areas of the body.
The symptoms of a herniated disc vary depending on if the herniation occurred in the cervical, thoracic, or lumbar area of the spine.
Cervical Disc Herniation
Cervical disc herniation is usually the result of neck trauma or injury and usually results in irritation of the cervical nerve. When a herniated disc presses on the cervical nerve, it can cause radiating pain down the length of the arm accompanied by numbness and tingling that extends to the fingertips.
Thoracic Disc Herniation
Depending on the area of that spine that thoracic disc herniation occurs, patients can experience a dramatic variation of symptoms.
- Central disc protrusion can cause upper back pain or spinal cord dysfunction
- Lateral disc herniation occurs when the disc herniates to the side, effecting an exiting nerve root and causing radiating chest or abdominal pain
- Centro-lateral disc herniation can cause upper back pain, radiating pain, or spinal cord dysfunction
Lumbar Disc Herniation
While most people who suffer from a lumbar herniated disc experience no symptoms six weeks after it originally occured, others can experience debilitating, chronic pain. Lumbar disc herniation can cause leg pain, nerve pain, and neurological symptoms in the lower back, buttocks, calves, foot, toes, and thighs.
Do you suspect that you or someone you love may be suffering from a herniated disc? Contact Innovative Spine today to schedule a consultation appointment to learn more about the ways we can help alleviate this pain. We look forward to hearing from you!