disc injury

Disc injury- Herniated disc injury

A herniated disc injury can be very painful and result in surgery. The disc is the cartilage type material that separates the vertebrae in your spine. (see the video on this page)  Inside the center of the disc is a ball of fluid the consistency of toothpaste called the nucleus pulposis. Because this ball of fluid acts like a ball bearing or a hydraulic mechanism, it will absorb shock. So if you put enough pressure on the nucleus, it can try to break through the disc and cause  a herniated disc injury. This can put pressure on the nerve root which exits on either side of the vertebrae causing sciatica.

The disc does not have any nerve fibers sensitive to pain in the center of the disc.  If it did every time you stood up you would probably have pain. Only the outer part of the disc has nerve fibers that are sensitive to pain.  So if you get a herniated disc, a bulge or tear, the nerve fibers on the outer part of the disc can be irritated and generate pain.

Advanced imaging

A disc injury comprises about 60% of back pain. Disc pain is usually nonspecific and is difficult to pinpoint.  It can be on one side of your back or on both sides and can give you pain in your back or your leg. The leg pain can be on one side or both sides. Sitting usually aggravates disc injuries and repetitive bending will also aggravate a  herniated disc injury.

Because an x-ray cannot visualize the disc, an MRI is needed to visualize a disc. Most disc injuries will resolve with treatment. If it is not responding after about four weeks we will order an MRI to see the disc and evaluate further.

 Please see my blog for additional articles on disc problems. if you think you’re having disc pain contact our office for a consultation and exam. You are more than welcome to call on the phone and we can talk about your condition. Check out the new patient coupon on my homepage.

Study on disc injuries