A slipped disk—also called a herniated disk—can cause prolonged pain in the lower back. In fact, it’s one of the most common causes of back pain. Non-surgical treatment works for some people with slipped disks, but others need spine surgery to get relief. At Brandon Regional Hospital, our Spine Center offers a number of treatment options for people experiencing back pain. If you’re suffering from a slipped disk, here’s what you need to know about the causes and treatment options.
What Causes Slipped Disks?
Slipped disks occur when one of the spongy disks that cushion the vertebrae slides out of place and presses up against nerves in the spine, causing pain. Sometimes, slipped disks are caused by age-related wear and tear. In other cases, being overweight, doing repetitive movements that strain the spine, smoking, and having a sedentary lifestyle lead to slipped disks. Another common cause is improper lifting techniques that cause injury.
What Are the Symptoms?
Lower back pain is the most common symptom of a slipped disk. Over time, the pain may radiate down the leg and into the ankle and foot. Numbness in the back and down the leg is also possible. In severe cases, loss of bladder and bowel control may also occur.
How Are Slipped Disks Treated?
Most doctors recommend starting with conservative methods to treat a slipped disk. Rest, anti-inflammatory medicines, and physical therapy are enough to resolve symptoms in some patients. Others get relief from epidural steroid injections. When these methods don’t work or eventually stop being effective, spine surgery may be the answer. During surgery, a portion of the herniated disk will be removed so that it can no longer press on spinal nerves.
Visit the Spine Center at Brandon Regional Hospital if you’re suffering from lower back pain to learn how our surgeons can help. Our hospital also provides orthopedic surgery, emergency care, pediatric care, and much more. For a referral or more information, call our Hillsborough County hospital at (888) 327-2636.