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Herniated Disc

Yancey Pain & Spine

William L Yancey, MD

Interventional Pain Specialist & Anesthesiologist located in The Woodlands, TX & Houston Medical Center, Houston, TX

A herniated disc is one of the most common causes of neck and back pain, and when left untreated, it may lead to chronic problems that affect the function of your arms or legs. At Yancey Pain & Spine, which has two locations in Houston and The Woodlands, Texas, interventional pain specialist William Yancey, MD, takes an evidence-based approach to the treatment of herniated discs. He and his team adapt modern techniques and medications to improve the precision, safety, and efficacy of traditional treatments. For nonsurgical management of your herniated disc, call the office or request an appointment online today.

Herniated Disc Q & A

What is a herniated disc?

Each vertebra in your spine is separated by a cushion called a spinal disc, which is made up of a soft gel-like center surrounded by a tough exterior. These discs act as shock absorbers and support spine mobility. 

A herniated disc occurs when too much pressure from the vertebrae above and below the disc forces the gel-like center of the disc to push out through a weakened portion of the exterior. You can develop a herniated disc in any part of your spine, but they most often affect the cervical (neck) or lumbar (lower back) spine.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc?

Herniated disc symptoms vary greatly and may depend on the location of the herniation and whether a nerve is involved. If your herniated disc isn’t pressing or pinching a nerve, you may only experience a dull ache or possibly no pain at all. However, if the herniation is pressing on a nerve, you may experience various sensations, such as pain, weakness, or numbness, in the area of your body where the nerve travels.

Your symptoms may also vary depending on the location of your herniation.

Cervical spine

A herniated disc in your cervical spine may lead to cervical radiculopathy, or a pinched nerve, which may cause symptoms that radiate to your shoulders, arms, and hands.

Lumbar spine

In the lumbar spine, your herniated disc may irritate or pinch your sciatic nerve. This common pain condition is referred to as sciatica and causes radiating pain, tingling, numbness, or weakness in your lower extremities, usually only on one side of your body.

How are herniated discs treated?

At Yancey Pain & Spine, the goal of your herniated disc treatment plan is to relieve your pain using nonsurgical techniques. Dr. Yancey takes a multidisciplinary approach to care and adapts modern techniques and medications to improve the precision, safety, and efficacy of your traditional therapy. Your treatment plan may include:

  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Medications
  • Physical therapy

If conservative measures fail to alleviate your herniated disc symptoms, then Dr. Yancey may refer you to a surgeon.

Herniated discs are common and can lead to chronic symptoms that may affect your quality of life if left untreated. For a multidisciplinary, nonsurgical approach to treating your herniated disc, contact Yancey Pain & Spine by phone or request an appointment online today.