Disc Herniation

Spine, General Orthopedics, and Sports Medicine located in Redwood City and Santa Clara, CA
Disc Herniation

Disc Herniation services offered in Redwood City and Santa Clara, CA

A herniated disc in the low back or neck causes an injury to the nerves, and this injury will create leg and or arm pain – depending on the location of the disc issue. At SOAR Spine and Orthopedics in Santa Clara and Redwood City, California, the specialists diagnose and effectively treat disc herniation to help you recover without the need for invasive procedures. Call the SOAR Spine and Orthopedics office today or use the online booking tab.

What is disc herniation?

Disc herniation occurs when the wall of the disc tears and some of the pulp, known as the nucleus, breaks through the wall and injures the nerve. Landmark research by the Saal’s demonstrated that most cases of disc herniation cause pain by a chemical injury to the nerve, rather than compression. Furthermore, the research demonstrated that disc herniations can be treated without surgery more than 90% of the time. 

When disc herniations are treated without surgery, the nuclear pulp will dry up and the tear in the disc wall will self seal. Rarely will a disc herniation treated nonoperatively reherniate. Whereas when disc herniations are treated with surgery, up to 20% will suffer a recurrent herniation often necessitating a second or even third surgery.

See the SOAR Spine and Orthopedics specialists when you first notice lower back, neck, buttocks, or leg pain.

What are the symptoms of disc herniation?

The symptoms of disc herniation include:

  • Lower back pain
  • Neck discomfort
  • Buttocks discomfort
  • Leg pain
  • Thigh, calf, or foot pain
  • Shoulder pain
  • Arm pain
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Burning
  • Weakness
  • Shooting pain

The pain disc herniation causes can shoot into other areas of your body when you sneeze, cough, or change positions.

Sometimes no symptoms appear, at least initially after disc herniation. Your symptoms will depend on the type and severity of disc herniation you experience.

What can cause disc herniation?

The cause of disc herniation isn’t always clear, but its risk factors include:

  • Age-related wear-and-tear
  • Improperly lifting heavy objects
  • Falls
  • Blows to the back
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Carrying excess body weight
  • Smoking
  • Physically demanding job
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Frequent driving or sitting for long periods

The best ways to reduce your chance of disc herniation are strengthening the muscles that support your spine with exercise and maintaining good posture. Avoid smoking and maintain a healthy body weight. However, you can’t always avoid disc injuries.

How does my provider diagnose disc herniation?

The physiatrists at SOAR Spine and Orthopedics will diagnose your disc herniation and then design a treatment program to get you back on your feet as soon as possible. After a complete history and physical exam, the presence of a disc herniation will require an MRI to confirm the diagnosis.

How is disc herniation treated?

Primarily, disc herniation is treated by Cortisone, either orally or by an X-ray guided injection. This is often required to eliminate the inflammation caused by the disc herniation. Cortisone will typically reduce or eliminate the nerve pain. Once this occurs, an exercise based physical therapy program, tailored to your specific circumstance, will be prescribed and monitored.

Schedule an appointment at SOAR Spine and Orthopedics today by phone or online to find relief from pain caused by disc herniation.