Herniated discs don’t just affect older adults. They most often appear for the first time in people between the ages of 35-55. At Nova Neuroscience, Bülent Yapicilar, MD, provides personalized care to adults of all ages, helping them find long-lasting relief from the pain of a herniated disc with nonsurgical and surgical treatments. If you need help with back or neck pain, call one of the offices in Vienna or Woodbridge, Virginia, or book an appointment online today.
The discs between your spinal vertebrae consist of a tough, fibrous outer cover that encloses a gel-like inner core. They’re constructed in a way that perfectly fits their jobs of supporting spine movement, stabilizing the spine, and absorbing shock.
Over the years, the discs start to dehydrate and harden. Daily wear and tear also take a toll on the outer cover. These changes lead to weak areas in the cover that allow the inner gel to bulge out.
As the bulging disc pushes into the spinal canal, it compresses the nerves, causing pain and inflammation. If the outer cover ruptures, the gel spills into the spinal canal, where it irritates the nerves.
A herniated disc causes lower back pain or neck pain, depending on the location of the damaged disc. In addition to pain at the site of the disc, compressed nerves also cause symptoms along the nerve.
You may experience sensations such as tingling, burning, and/or pain that radiate down an arm or leg. Herniated discs are the top cause of sciatica. Sciatica, which occurs when the sciatic nerve is pinched, causes excruciating electric-shock pain that suddenly shoots down through one side of the buttocks and into one leg.
In severe cases, you may develop muscle weakness or lose feeling in the affected limb. Damaged nerves can also affect your ability to walk or use your hands.
Dr. Yapicilar performs a complete exam, including a neurological exam and diagnostic imaging, if needed. Then he develops a treatment plan that’s customized to meet your needs and relieve your pain.
Treatment for a herniated disc begins with conservative therapies, such as anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy. In some cases, Dr. Yapicilar may recommend additional treatment to alleviate your pain, such as epidural steroid injections.
If your pain is severe or doesn’t improve with conservative care, Dr. Yapicilar talks with you about spine surgery to repair the herniated disc.
Dr. Yapicilar repairs a herniated disc by performing a minimally invasive discectomy. During this procedure, he makes a small incision and inserts a narrow tube to access the herniated disc.
Using specialized tools that fit through the tube, Dr. Yapicilar either removes the herniated portion of the disc or takes out the entire disc. If the entire disc is removed, he stabilizes your spine by inserting an artificial disc or performing a spine fusion.
If you need integrative care for a herniated disc, call Nova Neuroscience or schedule an appointment online.