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Choosing The Effective Treatment For Herniated Disc

By Expert Author: Jain Mateal

The disc can be thought of as a jelly donut with a soft gel-like center that is contained by a tough out band of ligaments called the annulus fibrosis. The center of the disc is called the nucleus pulposis. The term cervical herniated disc refers to the discs in the neck area, thoracic herniated disc refers to the discs in the middle back that attach to the ribs, and lumbar herniated disc refers to the discs in the low back area. When the disc herniates it means that the gel like substance has pushed out past the annulus fibrosis, as if you put your hand down on a jelly donut and watched the jelly leak out of the side.

In general, there are three types or classifications of disc herniations. They include disc protrusions, disc extrusions, and disc sequestered fragments. These are terms used by radiologists who help us determine the amount of disc damage, the direction of the disc herniation, and the size of the disc herniation. While we listed these in order of severity in terms of tissue damage, it should be noted that some people with less severe disc herniations can have more neurological problems and more pain than people with more severe disc herniations. This is why a properly performed neurological examination must be correlated with any magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to make sure we understand exactly what is causing the pain and therefore determine the appropriate therapy.

It is important to note that an MRI alone is not enough information to effectively diagnose a disc herniation. Often times what looks like a herniation in an MRI can be something different entirely. For example, let’s say you visit your doctor with a back pain complaint and an MRI indicates to the surgeon that there is a large lumbar disc protrusion. The surgeon may conclude that it is the herniation that is giving you the problem. But what if the back pain was actually caused by the disc breaking down above the level of the herniation? Then you might be put into the classification of failed back surgery syndrome and told there is nothing that can be done except possibly another surgery and/or pain medications. At IPMG we take a different approach and triangulate all of your examinations and findings, and only refer you for surgery if you have “hard” loss of neurological function that is acute, or when all other non/minimally invasive procedures have failed to solve the patient’s problem.

Jain Mateal is the author of this article and he writes about health and other news matter. For further details about treatments for herniated disc and please visit the website.

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