The spine is made up of individual bones that are known as vertebrae. They work independently of each other and are separated by a small disc that is known as the intervertebral disc. The intervertebral disc is full of a gel like substance and it works as a shock absorber and it also permits the entire spine to work so that you can move about properly and lift objects.
Unfortunately, there may be instances in which the intervertebral disc is damaged and the gel like substance in the center of the disc can come out into the space between the vertebrae. This does not often happen all at once, although it may take place during a severe injury. More than likely, the disc has been weakened over the course of time and eventually, it will rupture. As a result, it can press on the nerve in the area leading to swelling, pain and a number of other symptoms.
What Are the Symptoms of Disc Problems?
The most obvious symptom of a disc problem is going to be pain in the area where the problem resides. Since a nerve is involved, however, the pain may actually be felt in other areas of the body as well because it can radiate along the nerve root and causes additional problems. For example, some people who have a difficulty with the sciatic nerve may actually be experiencing the problem in the small of their back but it could cause leg pain, because the pain radiates along the sciatic nerve, which runs down the back of the legs. This type of pain is known as radicular pain. There may also be additional symptoms associated with disc problems, including numbness, tingling and weakness.
What Are the Treatments for Disc Problems?
Since inflammation is often directly involved and may be leading to some of the symptoms that you are experiencing, anti-inflammatory drugs may be provided. Your doctor may also ask you to get some bed rest in order to allow the disc to heal, which can take some time. Various other nonsurgical options may be considered but in some cases, surgery is recommended and the factors surrounding that treatment will be discussed in detail with you by your physician.