Herniated disks, also referred to as ruptured disks or slipped disks, are becoming increasingly prevalent with today’s sedentary lifestyles. Whereas a bulging disk is usually considered part of the normal aging process, a herniated disk results when a crack in the tough outer layer of cartilage allows some of the softer inner cartilage to protrude out of the disk, irritating nearby nerves and resulting in pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg.
Herniated disks most commonly occur in the lower spinal column and are a leading source of chronic, severe and disabling back pain. A disk between vertebrae can become torn or worn by age or injury, causing it to rupture or its soft inner nucleus to swell.
Symptoms of Herniated Disks
While some people who have a herniated disc experience no symptoms, generally because the part of the disc that bulges out is small or not pressing on the nerves or spinal cord, most people will experience pain, often beginning in the lower back and sometimes spreading to other parts of the body, when part of the disc begins to press on one of the nerves (usually the sciatic nerve) that run along the spine.
Pressure on the sciatic nerve can cause the following symptoms, often beginning in the lower back and traveling down the buttocks into one of the legs:
- A lasting, aching pain
- A tingling sensation in one or both legs
Treating Herniated Disks
In additional to PM&R and medications, the following treatments are available at Bangkok Hospital:
- Selective Nerve Root Block (SNRB)
- Epidural Steroid Injection (ESI)
- Lumbar Laminectomy
- Laminectomy (decompression)
- Lumbar Laminectomy with Fusion
- Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion (ACDF)
- Microscopic Discectomy
- Artificial Disc Replacement