Herniated Disc

Applies to: Back

Herniated DiscSpinal disc herniation is when there is a tear in the outer ring of an intervertebral disc that allows the central portion to bulge out beyond the damaged rings. The tear may cause severe pain, even if there is no nerve compression. Sometimes there is no tear but the outermost layers of the disc bulge under pressure. Most minor herniations heal of their own accord within several weeks and anti-inflammatory pain medications are sufficient to keep pain under control and help speed up the healing process. In some cases herniated discs may not heal on their own and surgical intervention may be necessary.

Symptoms of a herniated disc may include:

  • moderate to severe unrelenting neck or lower back pain that will radiate into regions served by affected nerve roots
  • sensory changes such as numbness, tingling, burning
  • affection of reflexes
  • sciatica
  • pain, most often only in one side of the body, but sometimes in both sides