We have been providing treatment for Herniated Discs in San Francisco for over 20 years.
The bones (vertebrae) that form your spine are cushioned by small, spongy discs. When these discs are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. But when a disc is damaged, it may bulge or break open. This is called a bulging disc or herniated disc. It may also be called a slipped or ruptured disc.
When a disc herniation is pressing on the spinal cord or nerve roots it can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the area of the body where the nerve travels. A herniated disc in the lower back can cause pain and numbness in the buttock and down the leg. This is called Sciatica. Sciatica is the most common symptom of a herniated disc in the low back.
If a herniated disc is not pressing on a nerve, you may have a backache or no pain at all. It’s also possible to experience the symptoms of a herniated disc without having one. This can happen with acute injury, say from a whiplash. The nerves in the low back become irritated from the inflammatory response of the trauma. This is called chemical sciatica and is temporary.
Usually what brings a herniated disc patient in to see a doctor is back pain or leg pain (sciatica). The back doctor will then do a series of orthopedic tests and maybe some x-rays to determine if an MRI of the lumbar spine is necessary. MRI is the gold standard diagnostic tool for confirming or ruling out disc herniation.
Herniated disc symptoms can be progressive. It can start out as slight low back pain, but then as the herniation progresses the back pain gets worse, then leg pain or numbness and tingling, or weakness in the leg can develop.
WARNING: If you have weakness or numbness in both legs, along with loss of bladder function, seek medical care right away. This could be a sign of a rare but serious problem called cauda equina syndrome.
If you feel you may have a herniated disc in the neck or low back it’s best to visit your spine doctor right away. A chiropractor is a good place to start.
To find out if you are a candidate for herniated disc treatment in San Francisco call 415-392-2225. Mention the article for a complimentary consultation.