Cervical: Neck, Shoulder, Arms and Hands
Lumbar: Back, Legs and Feet
Summary: As a disc degenerates, the soft inner gel in the disc can leak back into the spinal canal. Once inside the spinal canal, the herniated disc material puts pressure on the nerve, causing pain to radiate down the nerve leading to leg pain (from lower back) or arm pain (from upper back).
Indication: Localized pain, numbness or tingling that radiates through arms (for upper back pain) or legs (lower back pain). For more severe cases: difficulty walking; a feeling of heaviness in the hands or feet; a decline in fine motor skills; bowel and bladder control issues.
Consultation: Evaluate severity of disc degeneration with MRI, CT Scan or occasionally, EMG tests, and assess non-surgical treatment options, such as rest, temporary pain relief or physical therapy.
Treatment: Lumbar (lower back) herniated disc symptoms commonly resolve on their own within six weeks.
- Ice, heat and mild pain medication is often recommended to minimize pain and discomfort.
- Occasionally, surgery is recommended for severe cases