Herniated Discs

Ratko Vujicic, MD -  - Pain Management

V Pain Clinic

Ratko Vujicic, MD

Pain Management located in Rock Hill, SC & Charlotte, NC

A herniated disc is one of the most common reasons patients aged 35-55 develop chronic back pain. It’s also the top cause of sciatica, which causes intense pain that radiates down your leg. Ratko Vujicic, MD, at V Pain Clinic provides customized interventional treatment that relieves your pain by targeting the source of the problem. To schedule an appointment, use online booking or call one of the offices in Rock Hill, South Carolina, or Charlotte, North Carolina.

Herniated Discs Q & A

What is a herniated disc?

The discs between the spinal vertebrae consist of a tough outer covering and an inner gel-like center. Over time, the outer covering can wear down and weaken. As it weakens, pressure from the spine pushes the gel out, creating a bulge in the damaged area that compresses the nearby nerves. In some cases, the disc may break open, allowing the gel to leak out, which causes nerve irritation and inflammation.

What causes a herniated disc?

Healthy discs are about 80% water. Throughout the years, the discs become dehydrated, which makes them inflexible and vulnerable to tissue degeneration from daily wear and tear. This condition is called degenerative disc disease. Even if the disc doesn’t herniate, it gradually thins out and becomes dysfunctional due to ongoing degeneration.

What symptoms develop due to a herniated disc?

You can develop a herniated disc in your neck, but it is more common in your lower back because it bears more weight. A herniated disc causes symptoms such as:

  • Chronic pain in your lower back or neck
  • Numbness or tingling in your legs or arms
  • Pain radiating down your legs or arms
  • Muscle weakness in your legs or arms

As a vertebral disc flattens, whether from a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease, you may develop spinal instability.

How is a herniated disc treated?

Like all back conditions that lead to chronic pain, the first line of treatment for a herniated disc includes conservative therapies such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy to help you maintain movement, strengthen muscles, and relieve your pain.

When conservative measures fail, Dr. Vujicic provides treatments that help alleviate your pain by reducing inflammation and stopping nerve signals that transmit pain messages to your brain.

One type of interventional treatment is an epidural steroid injection. Using ultrasound imaging to see the needle and precisely guide its placement, Dr. Vujicic injects steroid medication into the epidural space of your spine.

As the steroid medication flows around the nerves affected by your herniated disc, it significantly reduces inflammation, which leads to pain relief. Your injection may also contain a local anesthetic for rapid pain relief while you wait for the steroid to take effect.

To learn about other treatment options for a herniated disc, call V Pain Clinic or book an appointment online.