Herniated Discs

Herniated Discs services offered in Delray Beach, FL

Herniated Discs

Herniated discs frequently cause lower back pain, and they most often occur in people aged 30 to 50. If your back or neck pain doesn’t improve, it’s time to consult with Marcie Merson, MD, at Palm Beach Pain Institute. Dr. Merson offers exceptional care for herniated discs, providing treatments that effectively ease your pain and help you regain an active lifestyle. Schedule an appointment today by calling the office in Delray Beach, Florida. You can also request an appointment online at any time. 

What is a herniated disc?

A herniated disc can affect one or more spinal discs, the structures between the vertebrae that stack up to form your spine. Spinal discs have a firm, rubber-like exterior encasing a soft and jelly-like substance in the center.

You develop a herniated disc when the outer cover weakens and tears, allowing the interior substance to bulge out of the weakened area and escape from the disc when it ruptures.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

Herniated discs irritate the nearby nerves. You experience back or neck pain where the disc is located and may have symptoms along the entire nerve, such as pain, tingling, and burning sensations traveling down your arms or legs (depending on the disc’s location).

Severely damaged nerves can lead to muscle weakness in an arm or leg, making it hard to walk or grasp items with your hand.

What raises the risk of developing a herniated disc?

Anyone can have a herniated disc because the outer cover naturally dries and breaks down as you age. However, your chances may be higher if you:

  • Have a job or activities that require heavy lifting, repetitive bending, or long-term sitting and standing
  • Carry too much body weight
  • Smoke cigarettes
  • Have a family history of herniated discs

Your job and athletic activities and being overweight put excessive pressure on the discs. Smoking affects blood circulation, reducing the oxygen supply to your spine. They all accelerate disc degeneration.

How are herniated discs treated?

Dr. Merson targets all of the root causes of your pain, whether it originates in the disc (discogenic pain) or nerves. Your comprehensive treatment plan may include:

Physical therapy

Passive and active exercise, therapeutic massage, pelvic traction, and other therapies ease pressure on the nerve and disc, relax tight muscles, and improve circulation.

Epidural steroid (cortisone) injections

Dr. Merson injects cortisone into the space surrounding the spinal nerves. The medication reduces nerve inflammation, easing symptoms.

Radiofrequency ablation

Using a specialized needle that emits radiofrequency energy, Dr. Merson makes a precise wound on the nerve, sending pain messages from the herniated disc to your brain. The wound stops the nerve signals, which alleviates your pain.

Percutaneous discectomy

Dr. Merson performs this minimally invasive procedure to remove the damaged part of the disc, eliminating pressure on the nerves.

Don’t wait to seek help for a herniated disc. Call Palm Beach Pain Institute or request an appointment online today.