Understanding Pain Caused by a Herniated Disc

August 13, 2013

Before discussing the two types of pain you may feel as a result of a herniated disc, you should understand what a disc herniation is.

What is a herniated disc?

When a vertebral disc has enough pressure placed on it, either by a traumatic accident, lifting injury, or other natural causes, the inner soft material bulges and pushes through the exterior tough shell of the disc.  If the material does not fully break through the disc, it is often referred to as a bulging disc.  When this material pushes through a tear or rip in the disc, it is now considered a herniated disc. If the material further separates completely from the disc it is known as a sequestered disc herniation.

To learn more about a herniated disc, how they are caused, and what treatment is available please visit our herniated disc page.

Pain from a herniated disc can be either local or felt in the extremities of the body.  Local pain may be caused by inflammatory chemicals that are released when a tear in the disc occurs.  If the nucleus of the disc begins to compress nerves exiting your spinal canal, it may lead to a condition known as referred pain.  Referred pain is felt either in the upper or lower body limbs as a resulted of a compressed nerve.

Most herniated discs will heal on their own, or only require a small amount of therapy.  More severe disc herniations may require lengthy rehabilitation programs and eventually could lead to herniated disc surgery.

Surgery for a herniated disc

When considering how to approach surgery for your herniated disc, you should consider your options very carefully.  Less is more.  Open back surgery that involves instrumentation is a permanent solution with not options for turning back once it is done.

Minimally invasive endoscopic surgery that does not involve implantations would likely be the safest route to explore first. The recovery time is quite quick in comparison to open back surgery, it can be performed in an outpatient setting, and usually only requires a local anesthesia instead of general anesthesia.

Are you a candidate for a minimally invasive endoscopic procedure? Use our one of a kind tool that has helped thousands locate the cause of their pain and provide the right direction needed to live pain free again. Click here to get started.