We Feel Your (back) Pain!
Tune in from home for an exclusive Facebook/Instagram LIVE event on Thursday, November 2nd at 4:30 p.m. EST to listen in as podcast host and CNSA physiatrist, Sanjiv Lakhia, DO speaks with neurosurgeon Joseph Cheatle, MD as he shares his experience, first-hand with pain from a herniated disc. This event is brought to you by our Back Talk Doc Wellness Podcast. We will allow for LIVE Q&A after the seminar, plus produce a full podcast episode and video after the event. We are pleased to offer this discussion in a LIVE forum to engage our community in the conversation!
Learn more: What is a herniated disc?
A herniated disc, also known as a slipped disc or ruptured disc, is a common spinal condition that can cause pain and other symptoms. To understand what a herniated disc is, it's helpful to know the basic structure of the spine.
The spine is made up of a series of bones called vertebrae, and between each pair of vertebrae is an intervertebral disc. These discs act as cushions or shock absorbers for the spine and help maintain its flexibility. Each disc consists of two main parts:
- Annulus Fibrosus: This is the tough, outer ring of the disc, made of fibrous tissue. It provides structure and stability to the disc.
- Nucleus Pulposus: This is the soft, jelly-like center of the disc. It contains a gel-like substance that gives the disc its cushioning properties.
A herniated disc occurs when the inner nucleus pulposus pushes through a tear or weakened area in the outer annulus fibrosus. This can happen due to various factors, including age-related wear and tear, repetitive stress, or sudden injury. When the nucleus pulposus pushes through, it can put pressure on nearby spinal nerves, causing a range of symptoms.
Common symptoms of a herniated disc may include:
- Back Pain: You may experience localized pain in the area of the herniated disc, typically in the lower back (lumbar herniation) or neck (cervical herniation).
- Radiating Pain: One of the hallmark symptoms is pain that radiates along the path of the affected nerve. For example, a herniated disc in the lower back can cause pain that travels down the leg, known as sciatica.
- Numbness and Tingling: You may feel numbness or tingling in the body parts served by the affected nerve.
- Muscle Weakness: If the herniated disc compresses a nerve severely, it can lead to muscle weakness in the corresponding area.
- Loss of Reflexes: In some cases, the reflexes controlled by the affected nerve may be diminished.
The severity of symptoms can vary widely depending on the size and location of the herniated disc. Some people may have only mild discomfort, while others may experience significant pain and functional limitations.
Diagnosis typically involves a physical examination, a review of medical history, and diagnostic imaging tests like X-rays, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging), or CT (Computed Tomography) scans to confirm the presence and location of the herniated disc.
Treatment options for herniated discs may include:
- Conservative Measures: Mild to moderate cases can often be managed with rest, physical therapy, pain medication, and anti-inflammatory drugs. In some cases, epidural steroid injections may be used to reduce inflammation and pain.
- Surgery: Surgical intervention may be considered for severe cases or if conservative treatments are not effective. The specific surgical procedure will depend on the location and size of the herniated disc. Common surgical options include discectomy (removal of the herniated portion) and spinal fusion.
- Lifestyle Modifications: Lifestyle changes, such as maintaining a healthy weight, adopting proper body mechanics, and avoiding activities that exacerbate symptoms, can help prevent further disc herniation.
It's essential to consult a healthcare professional if you suspect you have a herniated disc, as early diagnosis and appropriate treatment can help alleviate symptoms and prevent complications. The choice of treatment will depend on the individual's specific condition and the recommendations of a medical specialist.
Want to learn more from a neurosurgeon who has experienced this pain FIRST-HAND? Join us for this this LIVE event on 11/2. You can expect to:
- Hear Personal Experiences: Dr. Cheatle will share his own health journey with an informed medical perspective of how he felt experiencing care on the "other side" of healthcare, as the patient.
- Learn About Disc Herniation: Gain insight about disc herniation, including treatment options and prevention.
- Be Invited to Ask Questions: We will host a Q&A portion at the end of the live event, so bring your curiosity!
Instruction on how to tune in with us on November, 2nd, at 4:30 PM EST: When we are live, you'll see the livestream at the top of our Facebook posts feed, or on Instagram, you'll see a red ring around our profile picture (just click on our stories, and the event will pop up!). We will email out a reminder prior to this event!
Can’t join the LIVE event? Don’t worry, we will host the full podcast and video discussion on our website and YouTube Channel after the event!