Signs You Might Have a Herniated Disc

Your spine is a complex assortment of stacked bones called vertebrae that are cushioned by 23 circular pads called discs. Much like shock absorbers on your vehicle, discs help bear the brunt of your everyday movements as well as more energetic ones, such as jumping, twisting, and running. A slipped, or herniated, disc can be painful, but the expert orthopedic surgeons at The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas, with offices in Houston, Pearland, and Lake Jackson, can help you recover. 

First, let’s look at what happens when you have a herniated disc. 

Your discs are made up of two main parts: 

Nucleus pulposus: This is a fluid-filled, gelatinous inner ring.

Annulus fibrosus: This tough, fibrous outer ring surrounds and protects the nucleus.

The cause of a herniated disc 

As you age, your vertebrae and discs experience wear and tear. As they break down, you may get a tear in the outer ring, which allows the gel-like substance from the nucleus to rupture and leak. Often called a ruptured disc, a herniated disc occurs when that inner fluid aggravates surrounding nerves.

Symptoms of a herniated disc

Depending on the magnitude of the herniation and where it’s located, symptoms can vary widely. It’s possible for you to have a ruptured disc without knowing it, but it’s more likely a herniated disc will produce some or possibly all of the following symptoms:

Because a disc can herniate anywhere on your spinal column and impinge on nerves that lead elsewhere in the body, you can experience pain almost anywhere. Here are some other, less obvious, signs to watch for:

Treatment options for a herniated disc

If you’re exhibiting any of the symptoms described above, board-certified orthopedic surgeon Thomas Jones II, MD and our team at The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas can help. Before Dr. Jones offers treatment recommendations, he conducts a comprehensive physical exam and asks questions to get a good understanding of your health history and current condition. 

It’s likely that you’ll receive a few tests and possibly an MRI to rule out other medical conditions and confirm the disc herniation. Treatment options include:

If you have signs and symptoms of a herniated disc, turn to our team in one of our three locations. Call the office or book an appointment online today.

You Might Also Enjoy...

What to Do About Age-Related Back Pain

Chronic age-related back pain can stop you in your tracks. Get your life back and the pain relief you deserve with proven treatments that restore function and quality of life.

Signs of Piriformis Syndrome

Compression of nerves that run through your buttock and down your leg can cause major pain and discomfort. Recognizing the signs and contacting a specialist is the best way to get much-needed relief.

Our Best Treatments for Herniated Discs

When you have a herniated disc flare-up, simply bending and moving can cause excruciating pain. Fortunately, there are treatments available that can relieve the pressure, ease the pain, and help you get back to life.

Tingling in Your Arms: Is It Cervical Radiculopathy?

You don’t have to suffer with ongoing neck pain or tingling. The team at The Spine Institute of Southeast Texas has the expertise to get to the root of your problem and employ effective solutions to help you feel better and function well.

Degenerative Conditions That Fuel Back Pain

When you have degenerative disc disease, simple activities such as reaching for a cup from the cupboard can cause excruciating pain. If you’re living with this condition, there is hope, as treatments can provide lasting pain relief.

Common Causes of Cervical Stenosis

Neck pain that doesn’t go away warrants a trip to a spine specialist. A comprehensive evaluation provides the answers you need to get relief so that you can get back to what matters most.