How Does a Herniated Disc Cause Pain


Exercise is essential to optimal health, but if you’re experiencing pain, it can be hard to get 30 minutes of movement done in a day. Depending on your level and location of pain, it could be more than just regular aches and pains from repetitive exercise; it could be something more serious, like a herniated disc. Pain management doctors know the difference between certain injuries, narrowing down your pain and helping you find specific relief. Innovative Pain Solutions in Orlando can give you the herniated disc treatment you need to get back to your life pain free!


How Herniated Discs Happen

Also known as a thoracic herniated disc, it occurs when the disc’s tough outer layer tears, exposing it’s jelly-like core which bulges or becomes extruded. There are twelve intervertebral discs in the thoracic spine that helps support and cushion your vertebrae in the mid-back region. 


The most basic symptoms with a disc injury is numbness, pain and weakness, with a sharp pain that worsens when you try to exercise. Other symptoms can include: burning, electric-like pain from your back that radiates into your chest, abdomen, or your legs, leg weakness, gait instability, and sensory disturbances with tingling and numbness. 


Other types of pain can exist, and if you aren’t sure if you have a herniated disc, your doctor may have a harder time pinpointing the underlying issue. Discogenic pain occurs when the ruptured disc has inflammation around the surrounding connective tissue. This causes more localized pain to your back, but may have your pain management doctor leaning towards a pulmonary, cardiac or abdominal pain. 


A herniated disc can also compress or irritate the nerves charging around your abdomen and ribs. This radicular pain feels like a burning or an electric shock-like sensation. Injuries to the intervertebral disc can also trigger muscle responses, and the large muscles end up tightening, causing muscle spasms. This pain can be far reaching across your back, restricting range of motion and limiting your ability to stand upright. 


Herniated Disc Treatment

Depending on the direction of your ruptured disc, pain management doctors can better treat your injury. There are three main types of directions: Lateral, Central, and centro-lateral. You may not realize that there are many types of treatment available for disc injuries. 


Seeking a pain specialist right away when you’re experiencing chronic pain can help tremendously when getting treatment. Your doctor may want to try physical therapy first, which can help relieve some of the pressure between your vertebrae and is less invasive. Pain and anti-inflammatory medications, along with muscle-relaxant medications can help with your symptoms and get you moving around a little more, but don’t offer as much long-lasting or permanent relief. 


If your pain is not as easily abated, the other options are epidural injections and surgery. An epidural injection is usually given right near the injury site to provide the biggest pain improvement. Although it doesn’t “fix” the herniated disc, it will flush away proteins that are causing the swelling and discomfort. The injection supplies a lot of pain relief, lasting anywhere from days to even years. This pain management will help you get mobile again and can utilize more physical therapy to help repair your disc.  


If your pain symptoms haven’t improved after six weeks and doing everyday tasks are difficult, your doctor may recommend surgery. Although surgery leaves you with recovery time and more physical therapy to get you fully recovered, it’s ultimately worth the time to get yourself back up and moving around normally. 


Contact Us

Ready to seek herniated disc treatment? Innovative Pain Solutions offers all of the above treatment plans in our Orlando office. Call or stop by today to start feeling like yourself again!

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