Herniated Discs in the Spine
Herniated discs can occur anywhere in the spinal column. However, they are most common in the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) regions of the spine. Thoracic disc herniations occur as well and can cause thoracic back pain and pain radiating into the chest. Herniated discs may also be referred to as"slipped" discs. However, discs cannot technically "slip" so this term is medically inaccurate.
Another familiar term may be a"bulging disc", which is a disc that protrudes into other spinal regions and interacts with other elements of the spinal column, but is not ruptured. Bulging discs are more common than herniated discs, but are somewhat less likely to cause pain. Because the outer annulus (outer covering) of the disc is heavily innervated, disc bulging may sometimes create even severe pain symptoms. With injury or natural progression bulging discs can become herniated.
Treatment Options for Herniated Discs
As with most conditions in the spine, herniated discs can be treated surgically or non-surgically. Non-surgical options can include pain management medications, injections, and physical therapy exercises. These are generally aimed at relieving pain, but often only work in the short term with pain eventually returning. Surgery may be recommended to remove and repair the herniated disc as the best long-term treatment option.
Minnesota Herniated Disc Surgeons
For a complete evaluation of your herniated disc, contact Midwest Spine & Brain Institute at 1.800.353.7720 to schedule your appointment. Our Roseville spine surgeons will provide customized and appropriate treatment options for your condition.