An intervertebral disc is a fibrocartilaginous structure found between the bodies of the vertebra. These discs are located between each pair of vertebra in the spine.
Think of this disc as being a jelly doughnut: there is a series of fibrous rings on the outside and a soft inside. The outer annular rings are thinnest posterior and lateral; most disc herniations occur at this location due to the weakness of the disc wall. The disc functions as a cushion allows for movement and serves as a cartilaginous joint between adjacent vertebrae.
Inflammation, damage or degeneration of a disc can cause a range of symptoms, which vary based on the severity of the problem. Disc pathology may produce a loss of back motion, back pain, pain that radiates into the leg and foot, numbness, tingling, lower leg weakness, and associated muscle spasms or some combination of these symptoms. The lumbar levels with the highest rate of disc degeneration and herniation are the fourth and fifth (L4-L5), and the lumbar fifth and sacrum (L5-S1) levels.
Disc herniation occurs when the outer walls of the intervertebral disc are torn. Other terms for this condition are ruptured disc, prolapsed disc, or slipped disc. When outer annular rings are torn, the center gel-like nucleus can push out and place pressure on the other structures in the area. The herniation usually occurs at the posterior lateral wall where the annulus fibrosis is thinnest. Unfortunately, this is where the nerves of the spine exit and track distally into the body. The larger the tear, and the further the nucleus pushes out into the surrounding area, the more severe the symptoms.
Have been under the care of Dr Freeman when I started and now under Dr. Cerrelo. Both doctors have only my best interest and quality of life as their main focus. I have numerous herniated disc and other health issues that have tortured me daily. Dr. Carrillo has me on minimum medication and to a point where I can enjoy each day. Highly recommend trying them if at wits end.
When a disc is herniated the symptoms will depend on the location of the herniation and what soft tissue structures are affected. Symptoms can vary from none at all or very mild if the disc is the only structure involved, or can be more severe. Other symptoms can include:
Please note: A patient with a herniation may be symptom free if the disc does not press on a sensitive soft tissue structure.
Treatment of a disc herniation or injury will depend on the severity of the condition. When treating acute disc or back problems treatment options include:
In mild cases patients found that rest, ice and medication were enough to reduce the pain. Once the pain is reduced, physical therapy is recommended to develop a series of stretching and strengthening exercises to prevent re-occurrence of the injury. Return to activity should be gradual to prevent a flare up of symptoms.
If the problem persists, consulting with your health care provider should be the next step. Your pain management physician or our New Jersey injury specialists will perform a thorough evaluation to determine the possible cause of your symptoms, the structures involved, the severity of the condition and the best course of treatment.
In addition to performing a thorough examination our pain care physician Dr. Freeman of pain treatment center in NJ may order the following tests to make a more precise diagnosis:
Your local pain management doctor or Dr. Freeman, the team of best NJ injury specialists may recommend several medication options individually or in combination to reduce the pain, inflammation and muscle spasm that may be associated with disc injuries.
Determining the correct diagnosis means you will get the correct pain care. Any doctor can treat your Lumbar Herniated Disc symptoms, but only an expert pain management physicians and best injury specialist like Dr. Freeman of NJ pain treatment clinic can pinpoint the reason for your Lumbar Herniated Disc pain and take steps to treat it at its source.
A lumbar herniated disc is often caused by normal age-related wear and tear. The water content in the discs of older people tends to decrease, the discs begin to shrink and the spaces between the discs become smaller.
This natural wear and tear cause the nuclear, or jelly-like center of the disc, to push against the outer ring of the disc. If the pressure persists, the nucleus can push the ring of the disc and cause it to bulge. This puts pressure on the spinal cord and surrounding nerves and causes irritation.
The goal of herniated disc treatment is to relieve herniated disc pain. Treatment depends on the source, severity of the pain, and the patient’s specific symptoms. Generally patients start with non-surgical care before lumbar herniated disc surgery. This involves medication to alleviate pain and physical therapy to strengthen the spine and prevent further wear and tear.
If non-surgical methods don’t relieve your pain, your healthcare provider may recommend lumbar herniated disc surgery. In a minimally invasive procedure, the herniated portion of the disc may be removed. Patients almost immediately feel relief from pain after the surgery.
Before your lumbar herniated disc surgery you will be scheduled for presurgical tests, such as a blood test, electrocardiogram, and x-ray. Your physician will ask about any medical conditions or medications your take before beginning your treatment for a herniated disc. You may have to stop taking some of these medications prior to surgery. It is also advised to stop any alcohol consumption and cigarette smoking 1-2 weeks before surgery.
When you arrive for surgery you should wear comfortable clothes and leave jewelry and hairpins and other accessories at home. Your clinic will have you fill out the necessary paperwork.
After you are administered the anesthesia and you are asleep, the doctor will roll you on your stomach. With the help of x-rays, the surgeon passes a thin needle down to the affected disc. The ruptured portion of the disc is removed with the help of a surgical microscope. The small incision is then closed with sutures or staples.
If your herniated disc presses on a nerve it can cause pain, numbness, and muscle weakness. In some cases, it can even affect the bowels and bladder and cause urinary incontinence and poor bowel control.
Dr. Freeman has been my doctor for 10 years+ I couldn’t say enough great things on here. I came to him after major back surgery looking only to be able to enjoy my new family. Dr. Freeman has got me through and then some.
Dr. Eric D. Freeman is a top-rated, best-in-class pain management doctor. He is a nationally recognized pain relief specialist and is among the top pain care doctors in New Jersey and the country. He is an award-winning expert and contributor to prominent media outlets.
Dr. Eric D. Freeman has been recognized for his thoughtful, thorough, modern approach to treating chronic pain. He has been named a “top pain management doctor in New Jersey” and one of “America’s Top Physicians” for advanced sports injury treatments.
2500 Morris Ave.,
Union, NJ 07083
10 Parsonage Road
Edison, NJ 08837
922 Main Street
Paterson, NJ 07503
185 Fairfield Ave.,
West Caldwell, NJ 07006
11 West 25th Street
Bayonne, NJ 07002
901 West Main Street
Freehold, NJ 07728
1255 Broad St #201B
Bloomfield, NJ 07003
445 Pleasant Valley Way
West Orange, NJ 07052