A herniated disc is a common but treatable source of back pain. Increased pressure on the spine causes the gel-like center of the disc to seep out through a crack in the tougher exterior casing. This irritates and pinches the surrounding nerves.
Symptoms of a herniated disc
In some cases, a herniated disc causes no symptoms at all. In others, herniated discs can cause quite a number of issues:
- Sciatica (pain that radiates down the buttocks, legs, and feet)
- Radiating pain down the shoulders, arms, and hands
- Tingling or numbness in the legs or feet
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle spasms
When should I see the doctor?
There is no reason to live in pain. Many people “tough it out,” but you can see a doctor as soon as the pain begins. For those who feel able to live with the pain and discomfort that a herniated disc causes, there are times a doctor’s care is required. If your neck or back pain travels down your arm or leg, or you have numbness, weakness, or tingling, you should get medical attention. Herniated discs do not heal on their own and require treatment at some point. Over time, they will worsen and cause health concerns.
What health concerns can a herniated disc cause if left untreated?
In one regard, the nature of the herniated discs is the same, person to person: they continue to deteriorate. If a herniated disc is not treated, the pain can become excruciating and interfere with your ability to perform normal tasks. You may experience the following:
- Sharp, intense pains
- Muscle atrophy
- Partial paralysis
- Rarely, inability to control bowel movements
We recommend that you see the doctor when the pain begins instead of waiting until the symptoms are severe. The choice is yours, however, and this decision is a personal one.
Why choose Long Island Spine Specialists?
As leaders in spinal medicine, our world-class spine specialists provide safe, effective treatment for spine disorders such as herniated discs. We are dedicated to giving the highest level of individualized care with compassion and integrity.
Our specialists have decades of experience and use the highest technological treatments available, including minimally-invasive techniques, to ensure excellent results. We are fully present and engaged to give you support throughout your rehabilitation process and recovery period.