With radiating numbness through your limbs or trouble standing up due to muscle weakness in your legs, you might not be quick to guess that you have an injury in your spine. Vadim Kushnerik, MD, provides in-depth diagnostic services for herniated discs and treatments to manage your symptoms at his offices in Financial District and Midtown East, New York City. To find out if you have a herniated disc, call or click to book an appointment with Dr. Kushnerik today.
Between each of the stacked bones of your spine, called vertebrae, is a rubbery round cushion called a disc. The discs keep your spinal bones from rubbing together, fracturing, or otherwise damaging each other. They also act as shock absorbers and allow your spine to be reasonably flexible.
If the outer barrier of a disc ruptures, some of the loose inner portion becomes displaced. It bulges into your spinal column and can push on nearby nerves. This is called a herniated disc.
Herniated discs become a more likely possibility as you age. Over time, your discs become weaker and more vulnerable to damage. They’re more common in your lower spine because it supports the most weight, but they can appear anywhere in your spinal column.
Another result of aging is the weakening of the ligaments that hold your discs in place. If you pull or strain one of these ligaments, it could cause a disc to herniate in the process. This could happen with minor movements like twisting your back, but you might not be able to identify the exact instance that caused it.
Herniated discs don’t always come with symptoms. If they do, the location of the disc along your spinal column and the direction that it herniates dictate the locations and types of symptoms you feel.
Your herniated disc may cause:
If you feel unusual sensations that might be linked to a herniated disc, Dr. Kushernik performs a physical exam and may ask that you undergo a quick neurological exam. If the results aren’t conclusive, he may suggest an X-ray or MRI scan to view your spine.
Treatment for herniated discs mainly focuses on managing your symptoms. Dr. Kushernik makes a personalized treatment plan for you that might involve some adjustments to your lifestyle as well as conservative treatment measures. He may recommend:
In some very rare cases, a herniated disc might require surgery. Dr. Kushernik may discuss surgery with you if other treatments haven’t successfully relieved your symptoms.
If you suspect that you have a herniated disc, request an appointment by phone or online with Dr. Kushnerik today.