Herniated disc could be a nightmare for most people because it is the most common causes of work
leave because of its association with low back pain as well as leg pain or sciatica.
Disc Herniation is a disorder that majorly affects your intervertebral discs.
WHAT SHOULD I KNOW ABOUT HERNIATED DISC?
According to American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS), your disc begins to break or
herniate when its jelly-like nucleus called Nucleus pulposus pushes against its outer ring also known
as the Annulus Fibrosus due to wear and tear or sometimes sudden injury. The high pressure against
annulus fibrosus result to low back pain, as well as leg pain or sciatica.
What are the likely causes of herniated disc?
A herniated disc in most cases is associated with the natural aging of the spine due to the gradual
wear and tear that comes with aging. However, children and young adults may also experience
herniated disc at some point in their life. Other risk factors that may contribute to the development
of herniateddisc are improper lifting of heavy objects, overweight or obesity because of the pressure
or too stress that is mounted on the lower your lower back if you are obese, sedentary lifestyle,
smoking, seating for long periods while driving couple with the vibration from your car engine can
put pressure on your back spine and disc, strenuous activities that can strain your spine etc.
What are the symptoms associated with disc being herniated?
For most people, low back pain is the initial and major symptom for you to suspect that your disc is
being herniated. However this be become improved with time. Leg pain, weakness or numbness may
then set in at a later stage. You should seek medical attention for proper examination if you notice
any of the following symptoms:
Back pain, leg or foot pain(sciatica), weakness in your leg and/or foot, numbness sensation in your
leg and/or foot. In a more severe case called cauda equine syndrome, you may experience loss of
bladder or bowel control which is caused when your spinal nerve roots are being compressed. This
therefore requires seeking immediate doctor’s attention. But sometimes, not all patients may
experience much pain.
How can herniated disc be treated?
Pre-treatment criteria require you to discuss your general medical history with your doctor, before a
physical examination could be conducted using a magnetic resonance imaging(MRI) scan to
ascertain if your problem is herniated disc related or not. The most common treatments for
herniated disc are:
Non-surgical or non-invasive treatment
a) Rest is one of the common nor-surgical measure for herniated disc, you should take
1-2 days’ rest breaks, this will help calm the severe back pain; however, you should
avoid sitting for too long period of time.
b) Physical therapy: Another non-invasive measure of treating herniated disc is physical
activities. Some specific exercises can help strengthen your lower back as well as
your abdominal muscles.
c) Epidural steroid injection: If your attempts to using other non-surgical treatments
like physical therapy, rest, and chiropractic treatment have failed, you should
consider this steroid injection which is a low-risk alternative to surgical intervention.
Because this is the most effective non-surgical measure for reducing pain associated
with herniated disc. In this procedure, steroids are injected into your lower back to
help reduce local inflammation, we can train you on how to inject the steroids
Surgical treatment: if the pains do not settle within six weeks of post non-surgical treatment,
you should consider surgery as an option. Our orthopaedic Surgeons are here and well
equipped, trained to help carry out MICRODISCECTOMY on the affected area by removing
the protruding disc and any fragment that are putting pressure on your spinal nerve.
What to expect post treatment?
Herniated disc symptoms may take a long time to resolve using only non-surgical measures.
However, the results of micro discectomy surgery are generally very effective. The outcomes of post-
surgical therapy are more improved leg pain, elimination of low back pain; you can slowly resume
your normal daily activities over the first several weeks following the surgery therapy.