Spotting the Warning Signs of a Herniated Disc

Oct 01, 2022
Spotting the Warning Signs of a Herniated Disc
A herniated disc can be a very painful and limiting condition. Find out what the warning signs of a herniated disc are so you can get treatment to ease your pain and improve your mobility as soon as possible.

As we get older, many of us begin to experience back pain. While this may be caused by a variety of conditions, one of the more common problems is a herniated disc caused by degenerative changes in the back.

Dr. Okezie N. Okezie and our expert team at Interventional Sports and Pain Management Associates don't want you to have to live with this kind of pain, so it’s important to spot the warning signs for this condition as soon as possible. Once you know the cause, you can move forward with a targeted treatment, and the earlier you address a herniated disc, the better.

What is a herniated disc?

The vertebrae in your spine are separated and cushioned by spinal discs. Comprised of a tough, durable exterior and a soft, gel-like interior, these movement-facilitating pads help absorb the load-related shock that happens during routine activities like walking and running.

A herniated disc (also called a ruptured disc) occurs when the tough outer coating breaks or tears, allowing the soft interior gel to spill out and press on nearby spinal nerve roots. 

Ongoing spinal nerve impingement can cause constant discomfort or waves of pain when you move. If a herniated disc also partially slips out of place, it can allow the adjacent vertebrae to touch or rub together, causing inflammation and pain.

What are the warning signs of a herniated disc?

Symptoms can range from mild to severe, but in general, warning signs for a herniated disc include:

  • Persistent neck or back pain that gets worse when you sit, stand, or walk
  • Numbness and/or pain along one side of your body
  • Pain that shoots down one leg
  • Tingling in your hips and legs
  • Weakness in your legs
  • Loss of your normal range of motion
  • Frequent urination
  • Headaches that occur with no explanation

If you have any of these warning signs and can’t get enough relief from over-the-counter pain medication, it’s time to call Dr. Okezie and schedule a thorough evaluation for your back or neck pain problem.   

How can you treat a herniated disc?

If your symptoms are mild, you can be treated with rest, anti-inflammatory medication, and OTC pain relievers. Physical therapy may also help relieve pressure, and medications such as nerve blockers and steroid injections may provide relief as well. For severe pain, you may be a candidate for spinal cord stimulation.

If you think you may be dealing with a herniated disc in your back, Dr. Okezie and our team at Interventional Sports and Pain Management Associates are here to help. Call your nearest office in Humble or Baytown, Texas, today, or use our easy online booking feature to schedule a visit any time.