A herniated disc refers to a problem with one of the discs that sit between your vertebrae in your spine. These discs are made of cartilage and act as shock absorbers preventing damage to your spine. Composed of a soft jelly-like center (nucleus pulposus) and tougher exterior (annulus fibrosus), a herniated disk occurs when some of the soft parts of the disc push through to the outside from a tear in the outside of a disc. A herniated disc can occur anywhere and place pressure on nearby nerves resulting in pain, numbness, or muscle weakness in other areas of the body.

Conservative treatments such as over-the-counter medication, physical therapy, and modifying activities can often relieve symptoms after several days or a few weeks. In cases that don’t improve, the traditional treatment involves masking pain with steroid shots or prescription pain medication and muscle relaxers. Neither treatment addresses why the symptoms are occurring in the first place and don’t help your body to heal. If you are unresponsive to these options, surgery may be recommended.

At Derrington Orthopedics, we approach these types of injuries from a very different direction, working with your body to reduce pain from the herniated disc and nerve irritation by helping the nerve and disc function better and potentially reducing the size of the herniation. These procedures work to heal your body with a fraction of the downtime and without irreversible changes after surgery.