Our Best Treatments for Herniated Discs

Living with a herniated disc often means dealing with chronic pain that affects your everyday activities. Nerve irritation that causes pain and abnormal sensations like tingling and numbness can limit your mobility. For most people, nonsurgical treatments ease herniated disc pain. In some cases, surgery is necessary to provide relief and restore your quality of life.

Here at The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas, our board-certified orthopedic surgeon, Dr. Thomas Jones II, diagnoses and treats a full range of conditions that affect the bones and joints, specializing in minimally-invasive surgical approaches. If you’re living with the pain of a herniated disc, appropriate treatment can bring lasting relief. 

Understanding spinal anatomy

The spine is a complex part of the musculoskeletal system that enables you to bend, twist, and move freely while providing support for your body. It’s made up of individual bones called vertebrae. Between the moveable vertebrae are intervertebral discs that provide cushion and support, acting as shock absorbers. 

Each disc is made up of two main components -- a jelly-like inner core and a tough outer layer. A herniated or bulging disc occurs when the tough outer layer weakens. With age, this layer can become dry and cracks can form. Without tough reinforcement, the jelly-like inner core pushes through and bulges into the spinal canal

Because the spinal canal is narrow and has limited space, the bulging disc can easily press against nerve roots and cause symptoms along the spine in the affected area, including neck pain, back pain, and leg pain. 

A herniated disc can disrupt and irritate nerves signals, resulting in abnormal sensations such as tingling, numbness, and burning. 

Treatment for a herniated disc

The treatment Dr. Jones recommends for your herniated disc depends on a number of factors, including the location and severity. 

Most treatments begin with nonsurgical approaches including:

These treatments reduce inflammation and relieve pain associated with herniated discs. 

Microdiscectomy surgery

Many cases of herniated discs resolve with nonsurgical treatment and pain management. You may be a candidate for surgery if you have a herniated disc that doesn’t respond adequately to nonsurgical treatment or causes significant disability. 

A microdiscectomy is a specialized minimally-invasive surgery that requires a surgeon with specialized training. Dr. Jones specializes in this surgical approach. A microdiscectomy is typically performed for a herniated disc in the lower back (lumbar) area. 

To perform a microdiscectomy Dr. Jones creates extremely small incisions and uses a sophisticated surgical microscope and specialized surgical instruments to remove portions of the herniated disc. This relieves pressure on the nerve roots and spinal cord to ease painful herniated lumbar discs. 

To avoid cutting through the muscle, Dr. Jones uses special techniques and tools to spread the muscle surrounding the spine. Nerves and muscles are gently moved to the side and protected. This results in less tissue damage, allowing for a rapid recovery. 

For a comprehensive evaluation of your neck or back pain, call us at The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas to schedule a visit with Dr. Jones. We have offices in Pearland, Houston, and Lake Jackson, Texas. Phone the nearest office or book your appointment here on the website.

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