A collapsed disc, which may also known as a herniated or bulging disc depending on the extent of disc damage, is a relatively common condition. Typically, when a disc problem is identified, a physician will recommend a regimen of conservative, nonsurgical treatment methods to help manage the patient’s pain and strengthen the neck and back. However, there are several signs that might indicate that the condition is more severe than originally anticipated, which could mean surgery is necessary.
If you experience any of the following situations, speak with a physician as soon as possible
Here are several examples of the types of collapsed disc warning signs that you should keep an eye out for:
- Your pain is debilitating — This is a relatively obvious warning sign, but pain can usually be described in varying degrees of severity. A collapsed disc can cause everything from little to no pain to discomfort that is debilitating. In the event that your discomfort is so severe you can’t go about your day, you should not ignore your symptoms or hope they’ll be better the next day.
- You can’t alleviate your pain no matter what you try — This one is tricky because sometimes the pain a patient experiences isn’t debilitating but it still is bothersome and won’t go away regardless of what the patient does. For some patients, conservative treatment simply doesn’t work and rather than accept a life of pain, they should consider further treatments.
- Your pain is worsening — If it feels like your pain is getting worse and worse, you should speak with your physician and see what other options are available to you. Rather than risking nerve damage or your spine health further deteriorating, more advanced collapsed disc treatment is advised.
- You are experiencing loss of bladder or bowel control or paralysis — This is extremely important: If you experience incontinence or paralysis, get to the emergency room immediately. This can indicate the presence of cauda equina syndrome, which is an extremely rare emergency condition that usually requires immediate surgery.
Exploring treatment further
In the event that you have been diagnosed with a collapsed disc and you have not found the success you’d expect from your conservative treatment plan, your physician may recommend that you explore surgery. At USA Spine Care, we specialize in minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that have a 98 patient satisfaction score^. To learn more and determine if you might be a candidate for one of our procedures, contact us today.
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