Written by Gregory Kuzmik, MD

It’s estimated that over three million Americans suffer from an injured disc on their back. When you’ve been diagnosed It’s not uncommon for patients to inquire why it happened. In order to answer this question it is important to describe how our spine functions.

Between each bone within the spine There are discs of cartilage that sit between the bones. They allow you to bend and move the spine However, these discs may tear or rupture which can result in the development of a herniated disc. Herniated discs are caused due to age, heavy carrying, sporting activities, accident or injury smoking, or overweight.

Herniated discs in the neck may cause pinched spinal nerve that could result in numbness, weakness or extreme pain radiating into the hand or arm. The neck’s herniated disc could cause squeezed spinal cord, which can cause the sufferer to feel numbness in their feet or hands and hands, as well as difficulty in using their hands and balance issues. Anyone who experiences these symptoms needs to be examined by medical professionals to prevent permanent spinal problems.

After gaining a better understanding of the meaning of a herniated disc and the symptoms it could result in, a major issue is if it’s possible to fix it? Yes, there are surgical options. The standard method of treating cervical disc herniation is to perform a discectomy and fusion. While this procedure can be effective but it was invented in the 1950s, and has its own drawbacks. The cervical disc is more contemporary alternative that allows for greater flexibility in the neck and lowers the chance of having surgery in the near future.

The issue of spinal pain should not be treated lightly. If someone is struggling that causes back or neck pain, or back I make sure to get patients to see a doctor immediately – usually in less than 24 hours. Anyone suffering from pain shouldn’t need to be waiting around for treatment. We have options for improving our quality of life. However, waiting can often cause a problem to get more difficult.