If you live with chronic back pain, you may have a herniated disc that’s compressing a nerve in your spine. Nasser Ani, MD, FACS, FRCS(C), at Ani Orthopaedics in Hazlet, Old Bridge, and Middletown, New Jersey, is a fellowship-trained and board-certified orthopaedic and spine surgeon offering expert diagnosis and treatments for herniated discs and the associated pain they cause. If you have chronic back pain, call Ani Orthopaedics or schedule an appointment online today.
You have soft discs between each of the vertebrae in your spine. Your discs cushion the vertebrae and allow your spine to bend and flex. The rubbery pads also reduce friction and absorb shock.
Each disc has a firm, rubbery outer layer that encloses a softer gel-like interior. When a disc is herniated, there’s a break in the outer layer that allows the soft interior to bulge out. A herniated disc can irritate or compress your nerves, causing localized back pain or radiating pain, numbness, and weakness in your arms or legs
In some cases, a herniated disc is due to age-related, gradual degeneration. As you age, your discs lose water and become inflexible, which weakens them and makes them more likely to tear. You might also develop a herniated disc after a traumatic event when you lift something heavy or bend or twist your back suddenly, after a motor vehicle accident, or work-related injuries.
Some of the risk factors for a herniated disc include being overweight or having a physically demanding occupation that puts additional stress on your back. You can reduce your risk by staying physically active to both maintain a healthy body weight and increase your core strength.
Dr. Nasser Ani diagnoses herniated discs with comprehensive exams during which he checks your reflexes, strength, mobility, and sensitivity to touch. He also uses diagnostic imaging tests such as X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs to examine your spine. Additionally, he might use nerve conduction studies to measure how well electrical impulses are moving through your spine and nerve tissue.
Dr. Nasser Ani provides customized treatment plans to relieve your pain and your herniated disc. He may prescribe medication like anti-inflammatories and muscle relaxers to reduce your discomfort. You might also benefit from massage and physical therapy for pain relief.
In addition, Dr. Nasser Ani may also recommend physical therapy to build strength and flexibility in your back to provide improved support to your spine. In cases where conservative treatment fails, Dr. Nasser Ani may suggest surgery to remove the protruding part of your disc. If the entire disc needs to be removed, he fuses your vertebrae for stability. Dr. Nasser Ani performs minimally invasive surgical techniques.
If you have chronic back pain and want expert diagnosis and treatment, call Ani Orthopaedics or schedule an appointment online today.