Oklahoma Spine & Brain Institute is keeping patients and staff safe during COVID-19. Learn More »

Herniated Disc Specialist

Oklahoma Spine & Brain Institute

Neurosurgeons located in Tulsa, Bartlesville, Sallisaw, Miami, & Claremore, OK

A herniated disc can strike when you least expect. It can happen at any time, even if you’ve just stood up after sitting for too long. If a herniated disc is causing you chronic back or neck pain, Oklahoma Spine & Brain Institute in Tulsa, Bartlesville, Sallisaw, Miami, and Claremore, Oklahoma, can help. With a team of neurosurgeons, Oklahoma Spine & Brain Institute has the most advanced technology available to repair your herniated disc and eliminate your pain. Call the office to book an appointment.

Herniated Disc Q & A

What is a herniated disc?

Discs are small pieces of round, flexible material in your spine that cushion your bony vertebrae. They act as shock absorbers for your vertebrae while also providing slight flexibility in your spine.

Each disc is between your vertebrae. They have a jelly-like center called the nucleus and a tougher shell called the annulus. 

Over time, small cracks can appear in your annulus, leaving small gaps for the nucleus to push through. This is called a herniated disc. It can happen anywhere along your spine, including in your neck, upper back, or low back.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

A herniated disc often puts pressure on your surrounding nerves and muscles, leading to chronic pain in your neck or back, particularly your low back. If you have a herniated disc, you may experience:

  • Pain that worsens when standing
  • Soreness from sitting
  • Sudden muscle weakness
  • Once-sided pain
  • Back or neck pain at night

A herniated disc can also lead to radiculopathy, which causes tingling and numbness in the arms, shoulders, hands, or legs. They can also press on the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica, a condition that leads to pain, tingling, and weakness in the low back, buttocks, and back of the leg.

While herniated discs often heal with rest, ice, and exercise, many require surgical or non-surgical intervention to treat properly.

What causes a herniated disc?

Herniated discs happen when the tough ring around your disc weakens or becomes injured, allowing the soft center to slip through. This can occur gradually with age or suddenly from lifting a heavy object or turning the wrong way.

You’re most likely to have a herniated disc between the ages of 30 and 50, but you can get one at any time. Overweight individuals are particularly at risk of slipped discs, as carrying extra weight puts pressure on your spine.

What are the treatments for a herniated disc?

If at-home treatments don’t relieve your pain within a few weeks, your herniated disc may require injections or surgery. 

A steroid injection, such as an epidural, delivers anti-inflammatory anesthetic medication into the area surrounding the disc to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. This helps alleviate pain and soreness while your disc heals.

For more severe cases, Oklahoma Spine & Brain Institute may recommend surgery to replace your damaged disc. The team uses state-of-the-art artificial discs, such as the Mobi-C® Cervical Disc, to replace injured or degraded discs that haven’t responded to non-surgical interventions. 

The Mobi-C Cervical Disc is one of the most popular artificial discs in the world and provides superior comfort and function for your spine.

Your surgeon can also perform a lumbar fusion to connect two of your vertebrae and limit motion, as well as a lumbar laminectomy, which removes part of your vertebrae to relieve pressure from your spinal cord.

Stem cell injections may help stimulate your body’s natural ability to repair damage if you have a degenerated disc. This innovative treatment is non-surgical and can reduce pain and inflammation around your disc.

To learn more about herniated disc treatment options, schedule an appointment with Oklahoma Spine & Brain Institute today.