The bones or vertebrae in the spine are cushioned by small, round, pillow-like discs. Inside each disc is a nucleus which is protected by a tough, outer layer of cartilage called the annulus. These 23 discs serve as shock absorbers for the vertebrae in the spinal column.
A herniated disc -- sometimes called a bulging disc, slipped disc, or ruptured disc -- occurs when a fragment of the disc nucleus is pushed outside through a tear in the annulus. As the displaced nucleus fragment makes its way inside the narrow spinal canal, it presses onto the spinal nerves and produces pain.
Herniated discs may be caused by one excessive strain or injury, but they are more commonly caused by a degenerated disc. The discs naturally deteriorate and the ligaments holding them in place weaken as you age, so even a minor twist can cause a rupture. There is also a genetic component to ruptured discs, as patients who have family members with ruptured discs are predisposed to develop the condition as well.
Symptoms tend to vary depending on the size of the herniation and the position of the slipped disc. In some cases, there may be a low backache or no pain at all. On the other hand, a ruptured disc pressing into the nerves can cause immense pain, numbness, and even weakness.
And while herniated discs can occur in any part of the spine, most cases are found in the lower back (lumbar spine) or the neck (cervical spine):
The Spine & Rehab Group is home to New York and New Jersey’s best doctors, podiatrists, chiropractors, orthopedists, and experts in sports medicine. Our trusted practitioners are consistent in their dedication to helping patients reclaim their health. If you’re suffering from disc herniation, our professionals will provide you the information you need to better understand pain.
Most patients are fearful of getting their pain checked because they’re under the impression that surgery will be the only recommendation. The team at The Spine & Rehab Group believe differently. Instead of immediately prescribing orthopedic surgery, our medical team will first work with each individual to develop a comprehensive, non-surgical treatment plan that is customized to their specific care needs. Enjoy long-term pain relief and musculoskeletal health; book an appointment with us today.
Board Certified Physicians | Harvard Trained Doctors | Award-Winning NYC and NJ Doctors | Over 15 Years of Experience | Experience With Over 15,000 Procedures | Effective Treatment Plans | Non-Surgical Approach | Immediate Appointments | Convenient Location | Early Morning and Evening Hours
While there are more than 3 million cases of slipped discs diagnosed in the US each year, many patients tend to misunderstand the problem. Despite its prevalence, there are many myths about herniated discs. Let’s debunk some of those misconceptions:
Fact: Discs wear down with age, so disc herniation is not a medical calamity. In fact, many patients may not even feel pain from disc herniation -- even if they’re captured on an MRI. A slipped disc might not even be the source of your pain at all.
Fact: Most people think that getting diagnosed with herniation will immediately lead to spinal surgery. However, that’s not the case with reputable specialists. A surgeon with adequate experience in orthopedics will only recommend minimally invasive surgery as a final solution when conservative medicine has failed. A high proportion of ruptured discs actually improve and recover on their own with treatments like acupuncture, spinal injections, physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, or spinal manipulation through chiropractic care.
Fact: Ruptured discs can cause a level of pain and suffering that negatively impacts a person’s quality of life. However, it’s untrue that you will never be free from back pain, perpetual discomfort, or a limited range of motion just because you have disc herniation. With proper treatment, you can easily resume the activities you previously enjoyed. You can consult with a pain specialist to find innovative approaches for pain management.
Fact: While it’s necessary to lie down when you’re experiencing intense moments of pain, mild exercise is actually an effective form of pain management. Simple walking, stretching, and other gentle activities can relieve pressure from your spine and put it back into a better alignment. And when your spine is in good shape, it’s better protected from future injuries.
The Spine & Rehab Group has performed over 20,000 outpatient procedures under the careful watch of Dr. Amr Hosny, a board-certified and Harvard trained interventional spine specialist. With over 15 years of experience in medicine, Dr. Hosny knows precisely how to maximize safety, wellness, and comfort for all patients.
Dr. Hosny is committed to working with patients who suffer from spinal pain and related conditions. After receiving extensive training and experience at St. Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University NYC, and Harvard Medical School, Dr. Hosny knows the ins-and-outs of pain. With a thorough understanding of a patient’s complete medical history, physical examination, and state-of-the-art imaging or electrodiagnostic studies, Dr. Hosny can form an accurate diagnosis of the situation and prescribe the right procedure that meets your needs and goals -- without needing to perform orthopedic surgery.
Say goodbye to painful conditions like sciatica, neck and back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, fractures, sports injuries, and herniated or bulging discs for good. Under New York and New Jersey’s top-rated specialist, you’re sure to experience total health recovery in no time.
The expert herniated disc doctors of The Spine & Rehab Group in NJ have a non-surgical approach to disc herniation treatment. Some practices and procedures we commonly recommend include:
Q: What is the difference between a herniated disc and a bulging disc?
A: Although both terms are used interchangeably, a bulging disc only affects the outer layer of tough cartilage. On the other hand, a herniated disc covers the whole perimeter through a crack in the annulus, which allows the soft nucleus inside to protrude. Compared to a bulging disc, a herniated disc is more likely to cause irritation or inflammation on the nerve roots because it protrudes further.
Q: What are the signs of a disc herniation?
A: Signs of disc herniation vary depending on its location. For a herniated lumbar disc, patients may experience lower back pain, numbness or tingling, and limited mobility in terms of sitting, standing, or walking for a long period of time. A person with a ruptured cervical disc would have mid to upper back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and discomfort in the arm or hand.
Q: When should I see a pain specialist?
A: It’s best to visit a physician if symptoms have been present for more than 4 weeks. Seek immediate medical advice if the pain was triggered by a fall or accident. You should also head to a hospital emergency room if there is significant leg or arm weakness, urine or stool incontinence, loss of feeling in the genital/rectal region, and a fever or other signs of infection.
The Spine & Rehab Group has clinics in several locations around New Jersey and New York. If you’re looking for experts on diagnostics, rehabilitation, and pain management for untreated musculoskeletal conditions near the town of Westfield, NJ, our office in Cranford is less than 10 minutes away. We have fully-equipped clinics in Paramus, Englewood Cliffs, and Riverdale that can cater to NJ patients as well. Our dedicated team of highly-educated, board-certified physicians and medical staff will make sure to treat you for pain relief so you can join activities around Westfield once more.
After receiving the best care from us, you can walk around Westfield’s bustling downtown shopping area without any pain. Visit Lenape Park’s wildlife reserve, catch an outdoor jazz concert, or tour the 18th century farm at the Miller-Cory House Museum. You can even participate in the annual AddamsFest activities hosted in honor of Charles Addams -- Addams Family cartoonist and Wakefield resident. Do all this and explore more of Wakefield without any discomfort holding you back.
Our fully-equipped clinics in Union County are easy and convenient to visit -- especially for senior citizens and patients with limited mobility -- because you don’t need to go to a separate office for diagnosis and treatment. We can provide you with everything you need for healing any chronic, acute, or sports-related aches, pains, injuries, and other spinal issues. Contact us today to learn more about our services.