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What Is a Herniated Disk?

Last updated 4 years ago

Back pain and dysfunction can develop from any number of conditions. A sports injury might cause muscle strain. Osteoporosis can lead to a vertebral fracture. Another common reason for back discomfort is disk herniation. If you suspect that you have a herniated disk, the orthopedic experts at Oak Hill Hospital can address your pain and movement problems.

Why It Happens

Disk herniation can result from a sudden traumatic event such as a car accident. It can also happen when the back continually suffers from excessive weight or repetitive activities. When an intervertebral disc cannot withstand these forces, its soft core can bulge beyond its outer surface.

How It Presents

The effect of a herniated disk may differ in each person who suffers from this problem. Some people may experience disk herniation yet never know it unless an X-ray or other imaging device shows it. However, many individuals with this condition suffer considerable pain. This discomfort often develops because the herniation presses on nearby nerves. If the damaged disc can no longer buffer the shock that outside forces may place upon its surrounding vertebrae, pain may increase. Reduced range of motion can also occur.

What Orthopedic Treatment Can Do

Individuals with sudden, acute pain or chronic back discomfort may want to seek the help of an orthopedic expert. An orthopedist can first administer the proper diagnostic tests to determine if a herniated disk is the source of the problem. If a disk herniation is found, he can then recommend a course of treatment for it. Rest, lifestyle changes, and medication can sometimes alleviate the pain and back dysfunction that some herniation patients may experience. Physical therapy can also help individuals improve their back health. For severe herniated disks, surgery can remove the damaged disc and reinforce the stability of the vertebrae on either side of it.

Oak Hill Hospital has the healthcare resources you need to enjoy the quality of life you want. To schedule a consultation with one of our orthopedic specialists, call (888) 741-5120. You can also use our website to find out more about our complete services for those living in Oak Hill and Brooksville. 


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