Our spinal discs are cushioned securely between vertebrae that run along the middle of our backs. These rubbery discs comprise of a tough exterior and a soft gel-like center.
A true herniated disc occurs when this soft ‘gel’ pushes out through a crack in the tough exterior causing it to rupture. It is this abnormal rupture of the center that is referred to as a herniated disc.
Today it is common to hear a herniated disc be referred to as a slipped disc, a bulging disc, disc bulge or sometimes, a pinched nerve. It is important to note that there are actually different types and levels of disc herniation, each described according to their location and severity.
PRESSURE! Yes you read that correct, excessive forces of pressure on these discs can slowly cause tears in the discs overtime. This disc degeneration may be gradual as we age. On a rarer occasion, it can be caused by blunt forces of trauma such as car accidents or lifting heavy loads such as weight lifting. Once tears occur, it allows the soft gel to leak through into the exterior, resulting in a changed structure of the disc. This is known as disc degeneration.
An initial disc bulge can sometimes present with mild back pain or no pain at all. As more of the gel is leaked, the disc bulge grows larger until the soft gel like fluid at the center becomes extruded or pushed outside the disc. If this extrusion becomes separated from the disc, it is known as disc sequestration.
The spinal column comprises of three regions; cervical, thoracic and lumbar. Disc herniation can occur in any of these regions. Some common symptoms are:
Your doctor will perform a variety of physical tests to determine the extent of your injury and possible causes.
An MRI will be required to identify the location of a disc herniation and probable causes. Your doctors will analyze these MRI results to determine the best treatment plan for you.
Conservative/ Non operable treatments include:
Few people need spinal surgery as herniated discs tend to heal within 6 weeks to 3 months of pain onset. However, as complications arise, your surgeon will be able to assess if therapy and medications have not resolved your back pain.
Corner of Albert & Abercromby Streets,
St. Joseph, Trinidad, W.I.
Phone: 1-(868) 662-2766/3256
Lot 3 , Caroni Savannah Road,
Chaguanas, (Corner Endeavour and Caroni Savannah Road)
Phone: 1-(868) 469-1262