A herniated disc is one of the most, if not the most, common spine complaints in the United States today. Approximately 5.1% of men and 3.7% of women will have a herniated disc during their lifetime. A disc is a component of the spine that cushions the space between the bones. When there is a tear in the outer ring of the disc, a jelly-like material seeps out and a herniation occurs. As a result of this, intense pressure is pushed against nerves or the spinal cord. Pain is almost guaranteed at this point, while some patients endure neurological problems as well.
Precision Pain Care is dedicated to offering the most effective treatment plans to all of their patients. A herniated disc does not automatically mean surgery, but rather, more conservative pain management techniques are considered and applied first. Based on the physician’s recommendation, and the patient’s concerns, a plan is created.
After taking a history and getting a good physical exam, the next step is an accurate diagnosis. In most cases, a diagnosis is obtained by getting an MRI. Most people will get better with time, modification of activities, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory pain medication. The pain from a herniated disc usually resolves without intervention.
When pain is severe, an epidural steroid injection (ESI) can work wonders at relieving pain from an inflamed nerve root. These procedures are performed at Precision Pain Care using state-of-the-art equipment, and are always done under X-ray guidance for greatest accuracy. By injecting only the inflamed nerve, patients have the best chance of getting their pain under control so that they can give their bodies time to heal. The majority of patients will not need surgery, if they can get their pain under control well enough and get back to their daily lives.
When conservative care is not providing results, however, surgery can remove the herniation. A micro-discectomy, or minimally invasive discectomy, is a common surgery that removes the herniated disc from the spine. The surgery is performed through a small incision. After the discectomy, the physician will recommend the patient take it easy for a couple of days and then at approximately six weeks, begin a physical therapy program. We work closely with several highly qualified Orthopedic Spine Surgeons and Neurosurgeons in Nashville, Smyrna, and Murfreesboro.
The treatment process for a herniated disc is really a quality of life decision. Precision Pain Care is a pain treatment center that caters to a range of patients’ needs. From conservative to surgical, these treatment options continue to serve every patient.