Herniated Discs

Herniated Discs

What is it?

Herniated discs—also known as slipped, bulging or ruptured discs—occur when the inner layer of a disc between the vertebrae in the spine squeezes through the outer layer and into the spinal column, putting pressure on the nerves.

Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors

A herniated disc can be the result of:

  • Normal wear and tear and cartilage deterioration associated with aging
  • Heavy lifting
  • Injury
  • Twisting or wrenching the spine

Symptoms appear in the back arms or legs, and include:

  • Pain
  • Numbness
  • Weakness

People at particular risk of suffering from a herniated disc:

  • Are middle aged
  • Smoke
  • Are overweight
  • Are taller
  • Do work or participate in physical activities that put strain on the spine

Tests

A doctor will diagnose a herniated disc by performing a physical examination, reviewing symptoms and medical history, and conducting imaging test, such as X-rays, an MRI or CT scans.

Treatments

Treatments for a herniated disc include:

  • Icing or applying heat
  • Taking anti-inflammatory medication
  • Undergoing physical therapy
  • Modifying lifestyle and activities
If these treatments do not work, the doctor may recommend surgery to relieve pain and restore movement.

Have Questions?

Call St. Luke's
Orthopaedic Specialists

Allentown,
Bethlehem,
Easton,
Wind Gap:
484-526-1735

Tamaqua:
570-645-1835

Phillipsburg:
908-859-8884

Quakertown:
267-424-8850

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