Degenerative changes in your spine can increase your risk for a herniated disc as you get older. At Interventional Sports and Pain Management Associates, our Board Certified Pain Management Speciatlist, Dr. Okezie N. Okezie and his medical team specializes in nonsurgical treatments like epidural sterioid injections and nerve blocks to ease the chronic pain a herniated or bulging disc can cause. If you have persistent back pain, numbness, or other symptoms of a herniated disc, schedule a consultation online or call the office in Baytown or Humble, Texas, today.
A herniated disc, also known as a bulging disc, is a common source of chronic neck and back pain. The condition occurs when too much pressure or trauma damages the protective discs that sit between the spine's joints.
These discs are responsible for absorbing the shock of your movements to protect your spine. They also prevent spine bones from rubbing together.
When a disc herniates, it means the tough outer coating breaks, and the soft gel center pushes outward. The gel can press on nearby nerves, causing shock-like pain with movement. The loss of a disc also allows bones to rub together, creating friction, inflammation, and chronic pain.
You might have a herniated disc if you have persistent neck or back pain that worsens when you sit, stand, or walk. Often this pain feels like a jolt of pain that travels through your spine when you move in certain ways.
Other symptoms of a herniated disc that affect your spine include:
In some cases, spine pain and other symptoms can move into other parts of your body. For instance, a herniated disc in your cervical (upper) spine can cause pain to radiate down into your shoulder, arm, and hand. A bulging disc in your lumbar (lower) spine can cause pain in your hips, legs, and feet.
You should schedule a pain management consultation at Interventional Sports and Pain Management Associates if you have herniated disc symptoms but can’t find pain relief with over-the-counter medications and rest.
Mild symptoms of a herniated disc can improve with anti-inflammatories, pain relievers, and rest. The pain specialists might also recommend physical therapy to relieve pressure on your nerves from the damaged disc.
If your pain is more severe, you might benefit from minimally invasive treatments like nerve blocks or epidural steroid injections. The team relies on image-guided technology to inject medications precisely to the source of pain from your spine.
When your neck or back pain is severe, you might be a candidate for spinal cord stimulation. An implantable stimulator device delivers low currents of electrical energy into your spinal nerves to disrupt pain signals from traveling to your brain. You control its delivery with an external remote, so you can manage pain as it happens.
If you need help managing herniated disc pain, call the Interventional Sports and Pain Management Associates office near you or book a consultation online today.