A disc protrusion is a common condition in which one of the discs in the spine extends out of its normal position. Usually, this occurs when the disc’s hard exterior develops a small crack, at which point some of the disc’s soft inner core can leak out into the spinal canal. This type of protrusion most commonly occurs as a result of the natural aging process, although it can also result from a traumatic impact or injury.
A disc protrusion does not always cause symptoms
When disc material makes its way into the spinal canal, it can press up against a nerve root or, in some cases, even the spinal cord itself. This can be quite painful, causing localized discomfort and/or tingling and muscle weakness along the path of the affected nerve. However, a protruded disc is not always painful. If the disc material does not compress any of the nearby nerve structures, it’s possible to have a disc protrusion without even realizing it.
Treating a protruded disc
If a disc protrusion is causing pain, a physician may recommend medications, exercise, physical therapy and/or lifestyle changes to help provide relief. Complementary and alternative therapies, such as yoga, therapeutic massage, chiropractic care and herbal remedies, are also potential options for symptom control.
Many individuals can find significant improvement by using a combination of these measures, although surgery might become a consideration in certain cases, such as where a protruding disc is interfering with a person’s ability to work or participate in normal daily activities.
USA Spine Care performs minimally invasive surgery for many different conditions, including protruded discs. As compared to open neck or back surgery, our outpatient procedures are often the clinically appropriate first choice, with most patients encouraged to get up and walk on the same day as their procedure.^ For more information about minimally invasive disc protrusion surgery, or to find out if you’re a candidate, contact us today.
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