Cervical Disc Neurosurgeon Plano TX: Herniated Discs
One condition that may bring you to a cervical disc neurosurgeon Plano TX is the dreaded herniated disc. Herniated discs (also referred to as ruptured or bulging discs) range in severity, and you may experience symptoms that can start to subside after 2-3 days, or you may be in for a 6-week recovery. Here is some basic information about herniated discs.
Cervical Disc Neurosurgeon Plano TX: Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
Some of the common herniated disc symptoms aren't directly related to your back. For instance, you may feel tingling or pain in your arms or legs. This pain (numbness may also be a factor) will generally stay on one side of the body. If your pain gets worse throughout the night, you could also be looking at a herniated disk, and if it gets worse when you are motionless (standing/sitting), you need to see a doctor. Muscle weakness and spasms are also common problems.
Cervical Disc Surgeon Plano TX: Spinal Disc Anatomy
The part of the spine that rests above the sacrum contains 24 vertebrae---7 cervical, 12 thoracic, and 5 lumbar, from the top down. There are more sub-sacrum vertebrae, but they aren't the main culprits related to herniated discs. Between each pair of vertebrae rests a disc meant to absorb shock and keep the vertebrae from rubbing together. Each disc is made of a tough outer ring, called the annulus, and a gel-like inside, called the nucleus.
Cervical Disc Surgery Plano TX: Causes of a Herniated Disc
When the outer ring of the disc, or the annulus, tears or breaks, the inner gel from the nucleus is able to escape. Depending on the severity, this is the phenomenon that lands you with visit to a cervical disc neurosurgeon Plano TX. The problem is that when the gel escapes the nucleus, it "squeezes" onto the spinal cord. The spinal cord---which is sensitive and sends nerve messages all over the body---can't handle that extra pressure, and that is where the pain sets in. Since the spinal cord is involved, the pain can shoot to areas of the body seemingly unrelated to the back (arms, hands, shoulders, etc.).
Cervical Disc Surgery Plano TX: Treatment and the Path Forward
Herniated discs don't always mean that you need spinal disc surgery--you may simply be in for several weeks of physical therapy. This depends on the severity of your case, though, so securing the opinion of a health professional is very important.
Sometimes you will start to feel your pain subside after a few days, but even in that case, you may need to avoid certain movements for up to six weeks. In the more severe cases, you may require either a discectomy and fusion or the insertion of an artificial spinal disc.
To avoid a damaged disc in your spine, use correct form when lifting, and as you get older, consider re-evaluating the exercise you engage in. Middle age is the most common time for disc herniation, since the body is beginning to break down, but people aren't ready to slow down their life style.
To receive an expert opinion on your back pain, consult with a cervical disc neurosurgeon Plano TX at Brain and Spine Center of Texas at (972) 943-9779.