A herniated disc can cause severe back or neck pain that interferes with daily life. If you develop disc herniation symptoms, contact James Ellner, MD, at Georgia Pain Management in Woodstock, Georgia. Dr. Ellner is a compassionate interventional pain management specialist who offers advanced treatments like epidural steroid injections and percutaneous cervical disc nucleoplasty to treat persistent herniated disc pain. Call Georgia Pain Management or schedule a consultation online today for expert herniated disc care.
Herniated discs are common back injuries that can affect any part of your spine, but they’re more common in the lumbar (lower) spine and cervical spine (neck).
Discs are spongy pads that sit between each set of vertebrae. They provide cushioning and stabilization and absorb shock from your lower body.
A spinal disc has a soft center resembling jelly that is surrounded by a tough outer coating. Disc herniation occurs when the jelly-like center squeezes through the outer layer into your spinal canal.
You might suffer a herniated disc caused by trauma, like a severe auto accident or fall that damages your spine. However, most herniated discs develop because of degenerative disc disease.
This condition arises as you age when the discs start deteriorating. They lose water content, becoming harder, drier, and flatter. The outer shell weakens, allowing the center to bulge against or push through a weak spot.
Sometimes the protruding core material doesn’t affect the nerves, so you don’t get any symptoms. However, you may experience severe pain and other problems affecting the arms or legs if there’s pressure on the nerves. This nerve pressure is called radiculopathy.
You might have a herniated disc if you develop the following symptoms:
A herniated cervical disc affects the neck and arms (cervical radiculopathy), while a herniated lumbar disc affects the lower back, pelvis, and legs (lumbar radiculopathy, commonly known as sciatica).
Initial herniated disc treatment might involve anti-inflammatory medication, activity modification, and physical therapy. This approach is often successful, especially for mild-to-moderate symptoms.
Georgia Pain Management offers epidural steroid injections if your condition is more persistent or severe. These contain a potent anti-inflammatory drug that soothes inflamed nerves and reduces swelling in the long term.
Epidural steroid injections often have a local anesthetic to offer complete but temporary pain relief.
Dr. Ellner uses advanced fluoroscopy imaging to ensure the needle doesn’t damage the delicate spinal structures inside the epidural space.
If steroid injections don’t relieve your herniated disc symptoms, he can perform procedures like percutaneous cervical disc nucleoplasty, radiofrequency neurotomy, or spinal cord stimulation.
Call Georgia Pain Management today or book an appointment online to benefit from specialized herniated disc care.