Back Disc Injuries
Back pain can be debilitating, especially when the pain is constant or comes back again and again. Fortunately, there are several effective options for treatment of back disc injuries, both surgical and nonsurgical.
If you are experiencing back pain or have suffered a back disc injury, a skilled back doctor in Florida can go over your options with you and help you choose the best course of treatment for your specific needs.
Back Disc Injury Terms
One obstacle patients face in seeking help for back pain is that there are many different terms that refer to back disc injuries and this can complicate the discussion about treatment, as well as overwhelm patients who are seeking straightforward information, especially online.
In addition, several back injuries overlap in terms of exactly how a spinal disc is affected, but are all included under the umbrella of back disc injuries. Some of these injury terms include:
- Herniated disc
- Pinched nerve
- Nerve root pain
- Slipped disc
- Bulging disc
- Sciatic pain
- Degenerated disc
Two Main Categories
While there is a wide range of medical terms that can describe back pain, there are only two main causes of back disc problems. These causes are a degenerative disease of the disc itself, caused by deterioration and aging, and problems with the disc’s interaction with the nearby nerve roots. A skilled spinal surgeon can use a detailed medical history, along with diagnostic tests to determine which category a patient’s pain falls under.
Diagnosis and Testing
Diagnosing a back disc injury can be complicated and is not necessarily made clear through diagnostic testing alone. MRIs, CT scans, Discograms, and other tests aid spinal surgeons in the diagnosis of back disc injuries, but the films do not always indicate the injury decisively.
Spinal surgeons also use physical tests to aid in the diagnosis of back disc injuries, including testing the patient’s nerve function and reflexes, muscle strength, and looking for the presence of muscle twitching or atrophy, and pain in response to palpation, motion, and pressure.
One common misconception about a back disc injury is that the severity of the back pain signifies the extent of the injury. This is not the case – some severe injuries produce little to no pain, particularly in the early stages. Other injuries cause severe pain but can be easily managed with the right treatment plan.
There are many different options available to patients with back disc pain, including:
- Spinal fusion surgery
- Microdiscectomy, or removal of herniated disc
- Pain medications
- Steroid injections
- Physical therapy
- Minimally invasive spinal surgery
Consult an Experienced Back Surgeon
Regardless of the severity of your back-pain symptoms or the extent of your back disc injury, your spinal surgeon can help you decide the best course of treatment for your particular circumstances. It is important to focus on considering more conservative treatment than surgery, and automatically proceeding with the minimal approach when surgery is necessary.