What is a Herniated Disc?

The spine is made up of stacked bones called vertebrae. Small cartilage discs between each bone help to absorb shocks to the spine as we move. A herniated disc occurs when the fluid center of the spinal disc is pushed through a crack in the tougher exterior, called the annulus. It is also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, and can occur at any location along the spine. Pain or numbness is usually caused by this bulge interfering with or pressing on area nerves, known as “nerve impingement.”

Herniated Disc Symptoms

This condition ranges in levels of discomfort, from no symptoms at all to intense pain and nerve irritation. Depending on the location of the herniated disc, resulting pain can radiate to other areas of your body, such as down the sides of the legs or arms. A ruptured disk can also cause numbness or weakness in the legs, feet, arms, or other areas of the body. These symptoms may arise without an apparent trigger, or after strenuous activities, particularly those causing significant strain on the spine. The intensity of symptoms depends on the location and size of the herniation. Common symptoms of a herniated disc include:

  • No pain
  • Lower back or neck pain
  • Burning, tingling or numbness
  • Arm or leg pain
  • Muscle weakness

This condition often requires medical intervention because of the affected nerves surrounding the spine. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, call us for a consultation immediately.

Herniated Disc in Lower Back

Herniated discs are most commonly seen in the lower back region and are a common cause for low back pain. Herniated discs in the lower back often affect the sciatic nerve, which runs through a notch in the pelvic bone and down each leg. This effect is called Sciatica, or Radiculopathy. Typically this condition generates pain or numbness in the low back, buttocks, or down one leg. This pain can be very severe, ranging from “stabbing.” to an intense aching or burning sensation down the leg or in the foot.

Herniated Disc in Neck

Herniated discs in the neck region often cause Cervical Radiculopathy, or nerve compression in the neck. Symptoms range from no pain at all to extreme stiffness, or a sharp, often burning pain in the neck, frequently radiating into the arm, shoulders, or fingers. It may also cause tingling or numbness. Depending on the cause and severity of nerve impingement, this pain may last only a few days or develop into a chronic condition that requires more specialized treatment.

Herniated Disc Treatment from a Reno Back Pain Specialist

There are a number of lifestyle changes, medications, and procedures used to treat herniated discs. Some common first non-surgical steps used to relieve a herniated disc include:

  • Maintain low impact activities
  • Chiropractic Manipulation
  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Ice-heat therapy
  • Muscle relaxants

At ProSpinal, we offer new and more effective drug-free, non-surgical, and non-invasive treatments, such as:

Our doctors here at Prospinal in Reno, Nevada will assess your case and recommend the best treatment plan to get you back to your pain-free life. If you’re suffering pain or other symptoms that you suspect may be caused by a herniated disc, contact us to schedule a spine consultation today!


Back Pain, Leg Pain, Neck Pain, Sciatica

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