Understanding Herniated Discs is the first step to recovery. In this video, Dr. Tony DeRamus discusses what happens when a disc is herniated as well as treatment options.

Video Transcript

Dr. Tony here. Today we are going to talk about a ruptured disc, or more commonly known as a herniated disc. I think before we talk about that let’s discuss what the underling issue is here. Most people and most healthy spines are not going to herniate. It is someone that has been working over a period of time, sometimes five maybe ten years, in developing this condition and then we are going to see a herniation. Now, typically what is taking place is we’re going to see a spine that is going to go through a process of what is called degeneration, or more specifically the fluid in a disc is going to begin to decrease.

As that happens as you can see here you are going to start developing little cracks and fissures into the disc material which will allow what is called the nucleus, the middle portion of the disc, to begin to break through the outer fibers or what is called the annulus. Now, as that happens and we’re continuing normal activities, we’re moving, twisting, we allow this material to begin to ease its way through every little fiber until one day we either pick the sock up off the floor or we sneeze or something like that and then the material then basically busts out the back almost like a balloon, okay? This is why most commonly you are going to see people come into our office and they are going to tell us I don’t know what I did with this. Well, it’s what you’ve been doing for the last probably five or ten years that has caused this condition to happen.

Now, the question becomes what to do about this. Some of these disc injuries that are not severe can actually heal on their own with rest, with ice, but there is also a category that just won’t get better on their own. Now, fortunately about 25% of these may go for surgery, but most of them are going to respond to conservative care, and especially with the advanced type of therapies we have at our facility. Now, the advanced therapies that we use specifically one is called spinal decompression and the other one is called laser treatment. They both have different functionalities but are very good at correcting disc injuries such as this without surgery.

We have other options that we can use that are non-conservative such as pain injections. There are some risks associated with that but they do help control some of the pain and discomfort from this, and if the patient is not responding or maybe you have some symptoms such as a weak leg or maybe a weak arm from the disc herniation then it is an immediate surgical consult. Now, I understand because I have treated thousands of these cases over the last 16, 17 years. In fact, we know statistically that 85% of all people that have chronic lower back issues, and this is probably one of the worst ones that you can have, are also at the same time chronically depressed so do not wait around, do not hope that this is going to go away on its own. Seek treatment for it and do it immediately.

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