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Spinal Educator

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Ruptured Disc

Don’t Let A Ruptured Disc Get You Down

You use your lower back every time you lean forward to reach for something or stoop to pick something up or even when you sit down. Over a period of time, these simple daily activities cause a lot of wear and tear on the back, causing one or more of the cartilaginous spinal discs that cushion the vertebrae to become weak and break open. When this happens, the soft, gel-like inner layer leaks out into the spinal canal. This is called a ruptured disc. While this in itself does not cause any symptoms, when the protrusion becomes more pronounced, it starts pressing upon the spinal cord and any nerve roots that are nearby, causing symptoms that are typical of a ruptured disc.

Don’t let a ruptured disc get you down. At Lakeland Spine Center, we want you back to feeling better as soon as possible. Call our office today for a no obligation, risk free consultation. After a thorough examination, our experienced and caring doctors will help you explore your treatment options.

Symptoms of a Ruptured Disc

Ruptured disc symptoms vary depending upon the location of the herniated disc.

A ruptured disc in the cervical spine can trigger off symptoms in the upper back, neck or arms whereas if the affected disc is located in the lumbar spine, the lower back pain can ensue along with problems in the buttocks, legs and feet.

A ruptured disc that is located in the lower back and is pressing the sciatic nerve can cause sciatica and the resultant pain can be felt all the way to the toes.

Herniated discs in the thoracic region are not so common because of the additional support that they receive from the ribcage. However, they do get ruptured sometimes and when they do, they can cause problems in the mid-back, torso and chest.

Regardless of location, some of the typical sensations caused by a ruptured disc could include:

• Numbness
• Muscle weakness or spasms
• Tingling sensation often referred to as pins and needles
• Debilitating pain

Ruptured Disc Treatment

Our doctor is the best person to determine the right treatment for you. While the recommended course of action will depend upon the location of the ruptured disc, the extent of the symptoms and your overall medical health, some of the more common treatments include:

• Cold compresses applied several times a day for about 20 minutes at a time
• Painkillers or anti-inflammatory medication to help manage pain and swelling
• Gentle heat applications may be applied after the spasms have settled down
• Cardiovascular exercises to help you lose weight if you are overweight
• Strength training to strengthen the muscles and the bones

When doing any exercises, it is important to keep the movements slow and controlled to prevent the recurrence of symptoms.

Depending upon the circumstances, the doctor may administer cortisone injections at the site of the ruptured disc to reduce inflammation. Surgery is usually recommended as a last resort for the most severe cases.