Spotting the Warning Signs of a Herniated Disc

Dec 15, 2022
Spotting the Warning Signs of a Herniated Disc
A herniated disc is a painful but manageable condition. Recognizing the early signs can help you stay ahead of the condition. Learn more about the warning signs and why early intervention is crucial.

herniated — or slipped — disc develops when one of the discs between your vertebrae leaks, ruptures, or tears. These discs form a cushion between the bones in your spine, allowing them to move easily. When a disc ruptures, it can cause severe neck, or back pain.  There can be associated symptoms such as arm or leg tingling.

A herniated disc can happen anywhere on your spine, most commonly at your neck or lower back. Here at HAAS Spine & OrthopaedicsStepan Kasimian, MD, and his team are equipped to help you treat and manage a herniated disc in Glendale, Santa Ana, and Upland, California. 

Knowing the early signs of a herniated disc helps you get ahead of the condition and prevent any complications. Take a moment to learn about the warning signs of a herniated disc.

Causes of a herniated disc 

Each of the discs in your spine has a soft, gel-like center but a firm outer layer. When a disc herniates, the hard exterior layer cracks, allowing the softer center to leak out. Know this: 90% of people with a herniated disc will recover on their own or with nonsurgical medical treatment. 

One of the most common causes of a herniated disc is injury. Herniated discs are also more likely to occur as you age.  However, many of them are asymptomatic.  Sometimes they can become painful from an injury or gradually over time. People 30-50 years old are at high risk of developing this condition. Making a range of lifestyle changes can lower your risk considerably.

Warning signs of a herniated disc 

A herniated disc causes significant pain, especially when it goes untreated for an extended period. Diagnosing and treating a herniated disc soon after it occurs is vital for your recovery. Some of the most common warning signs include:

  • Feeling pain while walking 
  • Feeling pain while doing certain activities like coughing, sneezing, or lifting. 
  • Feeling pain while sitting 
  • Feeling pain radiating down your leg 
  • Feeling a tingle in your legs and hips
  • Feeling numbness down the side of your body 
  • Sensing weakness in your legs 

If you’re dealing with any of these issues, reach out to Dr. Kasimian and our team right away.

Treatment for a herniated disc 

There are surgical and nonsurgical options to treat a herniated disc. Dr. Kasimian begins treatment with nonsurgical approaches. Surgery is typically only considered in severe cases. 

We may administer an anti-inflammatory painkiller or a muscle relaxant for mild to moderate pain. Epidural steroid injections help reduce inflammation and swelling, giving your body a chance to heal and recover. Physical therapy can also reduce the pressure on your nerves caused by the slipped disc. 

If all other treatment methods don’t provide relief, Dr. Kasimian may recommend surgery to remove your herniated disc or a part of the bone around the disc. He could also perform surgery to replace a damaged disc with an artificial one.

If you’ve observed any early symptoms of a herniated disc, schedule an appointment with us today by calling 818-500-9286 or requesting an appointment here on our website. 

Our skillful team has the expertise to treat and manage herniated discs or any other orthopedic concerns you may have.