5 Signs You May Have a Herniated Disc—and What to Do About It
Your spine is strong and flexible, but the discs that
cushion your vertebrae are highly susceptible to
damage. They can get torn through impact, ripped by a bone spur, or just
frayed over time with everyday use. When a disc
becomes so damaged that the tough outer tissue tears and leaks its gel-like
center, it causes a painful condition known as
a herniated disc.
It’s possible for
this condition to show up on an MRI or CT scan
without any accompanying symptoms. But chances
are, if you have a herniated disc, you’re going to feel it. Your symptoms will depend on the exact level of the spine where
the disc herniation occurs and whether or not it’s affecting nerve tissue.
To help you know what to watch out for, here are five of the most common
symptoms of a herniated disc—and how to find the care you need.
1. Spinal pain
A disc herniation can cause local pain at the affected level of the spine—anywhere from the neck to the lower back.
Shooting pain down one side of the body
If the disc herniation is large enough, the tissue can press
on the adjacent spinal nerves and cause shooting pain on one side of the body
(referred to as sciatica). For instance, if you have a herniated disc between
the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae of your lower back, you may experience
shooting pain down your buttock into the back of your thigh and down your leg.
The pain often worsens upon standing, and decreases when lying down.
Numbness, weakness, and tingling
Whether or not you’re feeling pain from a
herniated disc, other uncomfortable symptoms like
weakness, tingling, and numbness can arise virtually anywhere throughout your
body—and most often in the legs.
If the disc herniation occurs in the cervical spine, you may
feel pain shooting down one arm, causing a muscle spasm or stiff neck.
Severe pain in one or both lower extremities
In severe cases, a herniated disc can press on
spinal nerves on both sides of the body. This can cause debilitating pain down
one or both lower extremities, with marked muscle weakness and sometimes
from a herniated disc
In most cases, a herniated disc will not require surgery. This condition
can often be cared for with over-the-counter pain medications, physical
therapy, and other non-surgical options.
One of the most innovative treatments
for herniated discs is stem cell therapy.
This safe and minimally invasive treatment option harnesses your body’s natural
healing abilities to help relieve your pain and encourage the affected tissues
to repair themselves.
During a 15-minute outpatient session, your
doctor will remove mesenchymal, non-embryonic stem
cells from your bone marrow, circulating blood, or fat tissue. Then, while you relax
comfortably under local anesthetic, platelet-rich
plasma (PRP) is injected directly into
the affected area, which stimulates the tissue to
regenerate more effectively. Since the stem cells are taken from your
own body, the risk of an adverse reaction is very low.
While you may experience some soreness near
the injection sites, the recovery time from stem cell disc therapy is minimal. With a gradual decrease in pain and improvement in
mobility, many patients experience noticeable results within six to eight weeks—even after a single treatment.
A herniated disc can be painful, but hope is on the horizon. To learn
more about stem cell disc therapy, or to find out if this treatment option is
right for you, contact