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Herniated Discs

Discs serve as cushions of support between the vertebrae of the spine to decrease the impact of movement on the spinal column. Each disc has a softer center encased with a tougher exterior, much like a jelly donut. When this jelly-like center ruptures, the condition is referred to as a herniated disc and can result in back and neck pain. If the herniation is large enough, it can compress the spinal nerves that exit the spine, which causes the associated symptoms.

Causes

Typically, the cause of a herniated disc is the everyday wear and tear of the disk from repeated movements. As we get older, the spinal discs lose a portion of their water content, which makes them less supple and more vulnerable to splitting. There are some factors that increase one’s likelihood of developing a herniated disc which include:

  • Being overweight adds additional stress to the lower back, making a herniated disc more likely.
  • Genetics can be a factor as a predisposition to this condition can be inherited.
  • Certain occupations put people more at risk, such as those that are physically demanding and require pushing, pulling or twisting.

Symptoms

Some people with a herniated disc have no symptoms while for others, the pain can be debilitating. Many herniated discs are found in the lower back, although they can be present in the neck, or cervical spine, as well. Common signs and symptoms of this condition include the following:

  • Weakness – This occurs as the muscles served by the affected nerve begin to weaken. You may notice stumbling when you walk and difficulty lifting or holding on to items.
  • Numbness or Tingling – As a herniated disc can affect the nerves, the body part that relies on the affected nerve can experience this symptom.
  • Pain – If your herniated disc is in your neck you may experience pain in your arms or shoulder, and if located in your lower back you may feel pain or discomfort in your calf, thigh or buttocks. At times, even the foot experiences pain, and these pains may shoot through your body when you cough, sneeze, or move your spine into certain positions.

Treatments

There are a variety of treatment options available for the pain management of herniated discs. Treatment doesn’t involve just one specialty, as physical therapy and chiropractic therapy are valuable components in pain management as well. Common treatment options available include:

  • Medication Management – Patients receive a comprehensive review of their symptoms by pain management specialists to determine the medications that will effectively relieve pain related to herniated discs.
  • Physiotherapy – Also known as physical therapy. It is a specialty in physical medicine and rehabilitation that works to remedy impairments and promote function, mobility, and quality of life. A physical therapist can create an individualized rehabilitation program for you and get you back to doing your daily activities.
  • Chiropractic Care – Licensed chiropractors work not only to treat your symptoms but your body as a whole. They use a combination of techniques to treat nerve, joint and muscle problems.
  • Injections – These include epidurals, nerve blocks and joint injections. The injections are placed at the source of pain and typically contain a low-dose steroid medication to decrease inflammation causing pain. To decrease discomfort during an injection, your treatment specialist will use a numbing agent, typically lidocaine, to the area prior to an injection.
  • Spinal Cord Stimulation – This implantable medical device sends a mild electrical current to your spinal cord. This current alters the way in which your body perceives pain, relieving pain associated with herniated discs.
  • Percutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (PENS) – This device is an electrical stimulus generator that also works to alleviate pain associated with herniated discs. Electrical impulses are used to block the transmission of pain to nerve fibers. It is also thought that this unit may stimulate the release of serotonin or endorphins in the brain, alleviating perceived pain. For this therapy, needle electrodes are inserted near the nerves that serve a painful area and the unit transmits various configurations of electrical impulses through them.

If you think you may have a herniated disc, we encourage to contact Allied Pain & Spine Institute today to schedule a consultation.

Our Patient Reviews

Allied Pain & Spine Institute

5.0

Based on 8 reviews

Michelle T.

I fly in to see Dr. Petros from Southern California.  I wouldn't do so if he wasn't the best there is.  He is compassionate and has always treated me kindly. I can tell he is sincere in the way he talks to me and is diligently looking for solutions that work best with me and my chronic pain needs.  Very out of the box approach, which I appreciate these days!  I would truly recommend Dr. Petros to anyone looking for a Dr. that not only cares about you as a patient but has the confidence and skill set to get results! His office staff is friendly and caring too.  Allied Pain and Spine Institute is the Gold Standard in pain care in my humble opinion!! When I find a doctor that understands the issue and always goes above and beyond to help me, I do what I can to continue seeing them. I am so glad I found this office!!

Louise W.

Dr Petros is amazing!  When he uses a needle his aim is "right on".  He is also very personable, an altogether great guy.  I always find my visits to him to be very informative. I have had both sides of my degenerated back injected (epidural shots) with complete success.  He allows me to have no sedative, which is cool because his jokes and stories in the operating room are really good.  He greatly enjoys his work, and enjoys the difficult challenges of getting a needle into the right place in my back.  My arthritic knee is perhaps more straight-forward, but other doctors have failed to give me pain relief.  Dr Petros studies the structure with ultrasound before injecting it.  The result - instant relief! On my recent visit for a broken back (ski accident) the doctor and staff were very accomodating to help me make a dinner engagement shortly after my appointment.  This is definitely a five-star operation!

Ellie O.

Wow, wonderful doctor!!! I avoid all the doctors like the plague...seriously it makes my blood pressure go up when I have to go but I chose Dr. Vaidya. My friend referred him to me, he's simply the best... TOP NOTCH!!! He turned out to be a breath of fresh air. Dr. Vaidya really stands out head and shoulders above everyone else. I usually don't write reviews but he's so outstanding that I really wanted to do it for him. He's the most honest and caring doctor I have met.  He listens and gives you full attention and committed to find the best individual solution for you. He always goes out of his way to get you the most appropriate treatment and he will make it happen. He's very knowledgeable in his field. He's very professional, friendly, personable and definitely easy to talk to. His integrity is very valuable. He's one of the sharpest and most driven individuals you will ever meet.

Keith M.

Simply the best doctors and staff in the area. I've fought back and neck pain for over 30 years, and Dr. Petros and his team have kept me from the operating table and able to enjoy my life. I've had injections, acupuncture, as well as back braces. He listens to my concerns, cares very deeply for my pain and discomfort, and has successfully treated everything from stenosis, pinched nerves, herniated disks, and even helped me with the symptoms from shingles and lung disease. I couldn't be happier with the care he has given me over the years.

Kaitlin Z.

Dr. Vaidya has changed my life. I am in my late 20s with chronic pain and nothing had worked until I came here. All services here are wonderful and the staff is absolutely amazing. I can't recommend enough!!

Tracy B.

I have been a patient of Dr. Vaidya for a few years after not getting what I needed from other spine and pain doctors. I was looking for a doctor who would think outside the box and come up with some other ways to treat my growing amount of pain. Between Dr. Petros and Dr. Vaidya, they have brought me to a place where my pain is better managed. And let's just talk about bedside manners! I have never met doctors in the past 23 years of this back journey of mine that has as amazing bedside manners as these guys. I have cried and laughed with the team at Allied Spine. The way that I am always greeted and promptly cared for is bar none! The front office staff, and especially Nas, has been a God sent. I would never go anywhere else.

Justin P.

I am a new patient of DR Petros and my experience was great for my first two visits so far. He really takes time to listen to your issues and provides thorough answers and treatment options. The front desk staff are all very nice and respond in a timely manner to requests. Highly recommended all around!

Lisa A.

I have seen Dr. Vaidya for about 2 years. He is an amazing doctor.the attention and care you receive is well over 5 stars. He knows who I am by my face, he knows my health history with out looking in my chart, he remembers conversations we have had at previous appointments. He truly cares for his patients. I will be moving our of state, and will travel back here each month to see doctor Vaidya. I lost my insurance over a year ago and pay out of pocket to see the doctor, it is worth every penny to be treated with respect, as a person and with care. I love all the staff and feel like I am visiting family when I come in for my appointments.

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