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Disc Herniation Picture

Disc Herniation Picture - a layman may find actual disc herniation picture as Latin and Greek and hence let us try to understand a written picture of what is meant by disc herniation or herniated disc.

In Human Anatomy spine or backbone or vertebral column consists of 33 vertebrae (bones) that along human back connecting skull to pelvis. Vertebrae shield the nerves coming out from brain that further pass through the back and the entire body.

Spinal discs are like soft pads between hard bones (vertebrae) that make up the entire spinal column. Spinal disks are filled with gelatinous or jelly like substance which provides a cushioning or shock absorber effect to the spinal column.

Cervical (neck - portion behind skull) spine, thoracic (part of the back behind chest) spine, lumbar (lower back) spine and sacral spine (part connected to the pelvis and does not move) are the main segments of spinal column.

Discs in lumbar spine are composed of a thick outer ring of cartilage (annulus) and an inner gel like substance (nucleus).

Disc Herniation:

Pinched nerves, bulging disc, ruptured disc, radiculopathy, (radiculopathy refers to any disease that affects spinal nerves) sciatica and slipped disc are few other terms for herniated disc. As the disc degenerates (degenerative), it is likely to herniate i.e. to say that the inner core extrudes back into the spinal canal.

The spinal disc has a tendency to become less elastic due to ageing and thereby posing a possibility that it can rupture. As and when the disk ruptures a portion of it would push outside the normal boundary and bulge out from between the vertebrae. Herniated disc in itself may not pose any risks but if it weren't for the spinal nerves that are situated pretty close to the edge of the spinal discs.

Symptoms of disc herniation:

Herniated disk is considered as the most common source of pain in the neck, lower back, arms and legs. Few other symptoms include electric shock like pain, tingling and numbness in the cervical and lumbar region, muscle weakness, loss of bowel or bladder control which is to be handled as medical emergency. Sciatica (a condition wherein a sharp and shooting pain extends from buttocks down the back of one leg) is also a major symptom of disc herniation.

Factors which cause herniated discs:

Herniated disk condition may occur due to an accident or due to repetitive strenuous activities of back, or due to sudden strain or injury on the back or may develop gradually due to ageing and degeneration of discs. During last few decades more and more sports-related spinal injuries and C-spine (Cervical) injuries have been reported to have caused disc herniation both in contact sports activities like football, hockey and wrestling and also in non contact sports such as skiing, diving, surfing and equestrian events.

Diagnosis and treatments of disc herniation:

Depending upon the patient's specific symptoms and physical findings, patients may be advised to undergo spine x-ray, spine CT, spine MRI, and EMG in order to carry our proper diagnosis of herniated disc. This disc herniation picture helps in the diagnosis. Non-Surgical treatment may include rest and activity modification, physical therapy, ice and heat therapy, epidural steroid injections, oral steroid medications and NSAIDs (Non steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs).

Surgical treatments may be recommended in the event of significant neurological damages causing loss of function and in cases where conservative non surgical treatments fail to yield desired results. Depending upon the size and position of disk herniation, surgical treatment options may include microdiscectomy or laminectomy. Arthroscopic surgery is a minimally invasive surgery that involves use of an arthroscope (a type of endoscope) for examination and treatment of herniated discs.

Having the disc herniation picture helps the physicians with all the treatments that are necessary to provide relief from the back pain.

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