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Herniated Disc Specialist

Lynx Healthcare

Pain Management Practice located in Albuquerque, NM & Farmington, NM

Around 20% of adults over 40 have a herniated disc, and some of them experience pain or numbness as a result. At Lynx Healthcare in Farmington and Albuquerque, New Mexico, the team treats herniated discs and symptoms like pain and numbness that come with them. To confirm your herniated disc diagnosis and learn about available treatments, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.

Herniated Disc Q & A

What is a herniated disc?

Herniated discs are common complications that can affect the nerves near your spine.

Spinal discs are cushiony circular structures sitting between each of your vertebrae. They prevent the bones in your spine from grating against each other and absorb shock when you move your back. 

Each disc has two main parts: the inner nucleus and the outer annulus. When the annulus weakens or ruptures, part of the nucleus can bulge out through it and into the spinal canal. 

This is called a herniated disc. While herniated discs don’t always cause symptoms, they do if the bulge places pressure on a nearby spinal nerve. 

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

The exact symptoms you experience depend on the location of the herniated disc and the affected nerves along your spine. If the herniated disc doesn’t place pressure on a nerve, you might feel a dull pain in your back and nothing more. 

Common herniated disc symptoms for different locations in your back include:

Cervical spine herniated disc symptoms

Your cervical spine is the portion of your spine in your upper back and neck. You might feel pain or pressure in your neck along with radiating pain, numbness, or tingling in your arms and shoulders.

Lumbar spine herniated disc symptoms

Lumbar spine herniated discs often cause sciatica, or pressure on the sciatic nerve, resulting in radiating pain and tingling through your buttocks and the back of your legs. It usually occurs on just one side at a time. You might also experience pain in your lower back with a lumbar herniated disc. 

Am I at risk of getting a herniated disc?

It isn’t always possible to prevent a herniated disc, especially if you have disc degeneration. Disc degeneration occurs when your discs become weaker and more prone to rupturing as you age. 

Your risk for herniated discs increases if you:

  • Lift heavy objects
  • Use improper body mechanics
  • Are overweight or obese
  • Don’t exercise
  • Use repeated movements at work 
  • Smoke
  • Sit for long periods of time

Disc degeneration happens slowly with time, but a herniated disc can happen very suddenly if you twist, bend down, or otherwise move your back suddenly or improperly.

How are herniated discs treated?

Lynx Healthcare uses state-of-the-art diagnostic tools like X-ray imaging and CT scans to confirm your herniated disc diagnosis after a physical exam. Herniated discs rarely require surgery, and non-operative treatments are often enough to alleviate the symptoms.

Lynx Healthcare treats herniated discs with:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Physical therapy
  • Muscle relaxants

If non-operative measures like these aren’t enough to relieve your herniated disc pain or numbness, the team might recommend spinal surgeries such as spinal fusion or discectomy.

A herniated disc can cause severe, debilitating pain and even muscle weakness. For help managing your symptoms, call Lynx Healthcare or book an appointment online today.