Not every person with a collapsed disc requires professional treatment, despite how bleak this condition’s name may sound. That’s because the symptoms associated with a collapsed disc vary considerably from patient to patient. Some don’t experience noticeable signs of disc degeneration, while others endure extremely painful symptoms that negatively impact their ability to function as normal.
What is a collapsed disc?
A collapsed disc is a spinal disc – the cushioning layer that sits between each vertebra – that has lost its height, or has “collapsed.” This change in height occurs because of degeneration in disc’s fibrous outer shell, which is often a result of the body’s natural aging process.
When a disc collapses, it prompts the above vertebra to shift downward slightly. In some instances, this can place pressure on or pinch surrounding spinal nerves, triggering unpleasant side effects like shooting or aching pain, weakness, numbness or tingling sensations.
When is it time to seek collapsed disc treatment?
Disc degeneration is inevitable and irreversible, but steps can be taken to improve symptoms and relieve pressure on spinal nerves. Many physicians suggest patients participate in a regimen of gentle stretching and strengthening exercises (physical therapy). Minimally invasive surgeries, such as those offered at USA Spine Care, may be recommended in more severe cases.
Not everyone with a collapsed disc requires treatment from a medical professional, as previously mentioned. On the other hand, if you are experiencing pain and dysfunction associated with a collapsed disc, here are three indicators that you should seek professional treatment:
- Symptoms do not respond to days of at-home treatment, including periods of rest, ice/heat therapy, stretching and taking over-the-counter pain and ant-inflammatory medications.
- Symptoms include pain that travels down one or both legs or arms, or is accompanied by numbness and tingling sensations.
- Symptoms negatively interfere with your daily life — even mild back discomfort can make simple activities like walking and sitting uncomfortable.
Contact USA Spine Care today if you are currently exploring your collapsed disc treatment options. We will be happy to determine if you are candidate for one of our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures.
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