DISC HERNIATION, SCIATIA, RADICULOPATHY, "PINCHED NERVE" are terms
frequently used to describe the same condition. How does it start? Beginning
in the early 20's some people lose the proteins in the intervertebral discs which
absorb water and keep the disc hydrated. The disc then starts to dessicate or
"dry out" and become more brittle. At some point, with or without trauma, the
inner part of the disc called the nucleus may bulge out or herniate outside of
the outer layer of the disc. If this disc herniation happens to contact a nerve root in the spine, it will cause pain in the area of your arm, shoulder, leg, or
groin where that nerve usually picks up sensations (feelings of pain, temperature etc.).
In the CERVICAL SPINE (neck) symptoms may be pain with a numbness,
tingling, or burning sensation, which radiates into the shoulder, arm or
hand. The exact location of the pain in the arm or hand will depend on
which disc is involved and what nerve it it irritating, There may or may not
be weakness of one or more muscles in the upper extremity.
In the LUMBAR SPINE (low back) symptoms may be a sharp, burning, or numbness/tingling sensation in the leg or groin. There may or may not be weakness in the leg or foot.
TREATMENT initially consists of pain medications, Physical Therapy, and
Chiropractic treatment. If symptoms persist or become unbearable, these
interventions will usually be quite helpful/curative:
4. Laminectomy with or without fusion - Usually avoidable nowadays and
not generally recommended for these conditions.