Herniated Disc

Edward C. Murphy, MD, PA

Neurological Surgery & Chiropractic located in Houston, TX & Pasadena, TX

A herniated disc is a common cause of neck and back pain, as well as numbness and tingling in your arms and legs. At Edward C. Murphy, MD, PA, in Houston and Pasadena, Texas, Edward C. Murphy, MD, and Bogar Ventura, DC, diagnose herniated discs and offer customized, state-of-the-art treatment to ease your pain and heal your spine. Call your nearest office or schedule a consultation online today.

Herniated Disc Q & A

What is a herniated disc?

You have a cushioning disc in between each of the vertebrae in your spine. Your discs have a soft gel-like interior and a firmer rubbery shell. 

A herniated disc develops when the rubbery outer shell tears and the soft interior bulges out. The bulge may compress a nerve in your spinal cord, causing pain and other symptoms.

As you age, your discs become dry and less flexible, which makes them more prone to injury. For example, if you pick up a heavy object or suddenly twist your spine, you can tear a disc. 

Some people are more genetically prone to spinal disc injuries. 

You may also be more inclined to herniated discs if you’re overweight, lead a sedentary lifestyle, or have a physically demanding career.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

Herniated discs cause a variety of disruptive symptoms, including:

  • Back pain
  • Neck pain
  • Pain, numbness, or weakness in your hands, arms, feet, or legs
  • Shooting, electric sensations in your legs
  • Pain is worse when you stand, walk, or sit

Your symptoms depend on the location of your herniated disc. Most herniated discs develop in your lower spine or neck. Symptoms also vary in severity and frequency. 

For example, you may have a constant dull ache, or you may have intermittent shooting pain. Herniated discs are also a common cause of sciatica.

How is a herniated disc diagnosed?

The doctors at Edward C. Murphy, MD, provide comprehensive exams to diagnose the cause of your back pain. They feel your spine for signs of inflammation, swelling, and other abnormalities. 

Your doctors often use diagnostic imaging studies such as X-rays, myelograms, MRIs, and CT scans to identify and locate a herniated disc. 

They may also use nerve conduction studies and electromyograms to measure your nerve activity. 

How is a herniated disc treated?

Your provider offers highly customized treatments to alleviate your pain and heal your spine. Your treatment plan may include:

  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Physical therapy
  • Heat and ice therapy
  • Electrical muscle stimulation
  • Pelvic traction

In severe cases, your provider may recommend surgery to repair or remove your damaged disc. For example, if your pain interferes with your regular activities and doesn’t respond to conservative treatments, you may improve with surgery.

If you’re living with back or neck pain, call Edward C. Murphy, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.