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Herniated Disc

Eric K. Fanaee, MD -  - Board Certified in Pain Medicine and Anesthesiology

Eric K. Fanaee, MD

Board Certified in Pain Medicine and Anesthesiology located in West Islip, NY & Smithtown, NY

Back pain from a herniated disc is a common cause of disability and lost work hours. If you have chronic back pain, board-certified pain specialist Eric Fanaee, MD, provides treatments to reduce and relieve your pain at his offices in West Islip and Smithtown, New York. As well as a comprehensive range of non-invasive procedures, Dr. Fanaee uses cutting edge options for treating herniated discs such as kyphoplasty, radiofrequency ablation, and stem cell therapy. Call Dr. Eric Fanaee, MD to schedule an in-person or telehealth consultation or book an appointment online today.

Herniated Disc

What is a herniated disc?

A herniated disc is a frequent, often painful cause of back problems that affect the shock absorbent discs sitting between each of your vertebrae. 

These discs consist of a jelly-like substance that protects and stabilizes your spine. A herniation occurs when the soft jelly pushes through the disc's tough outer shell.

Many people have a herniated disc without it causing pain. The chief problem with herniated discs is when the tissue pushing through the outer shell starts pressing on your spinal cord or one or more of the nerves exiting your spine.

If the disc is pressing on a nerve, it causes back pain and sensations like tingling, burning, or numbness. Most herniated discs develop in the lower (lumbar) section of your spine or the neck (cervical) spine.

The pain and other sensations you feel when you have a herniated disc can radiate out to other parts of your body. A cervical herniated disc could cause symptoms in your neck, shoulders, chest, arms, or hands, and a lumbar herniated disc could affect your hips, buttocks, and legs.

Back pain that develops because of nerve compression is known as radiculopathy. Sciatica, a common back condition that causes sharp pain to travel from your lower back down one leg, is a type of radiculopathy.

What causes a herniated disc?

It's possible to rupture a spinal disc if you put it under too much strain or suffer some kind of trauma. More commonly, herniated discs develop over time due to a gradual deterioration in the outer casing.

Weak points in the shell are more likely to break and allow the core to protrude. Conditions like degenerative disc disease lead to discs becoming flatter and harder. Vertebral compression fractures – usually a result of having osteoporosis ­– can also lead to disc herniation.

How is a herniated disc treated?

Dr. Fanaee typically begins herniated disc treatment with conservative measures such as:

  • Activity modification
  • Pain medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Epidural steroid injections

Dr. Fanaee also uses regenerative medicine techniques like platelet-rich plasma (PRP) and stem cell therapy. These injectable treatments use naturally occurring human cells to promote tissue repair and new growth.

In most cases, these approaches are successful in resolving herniated disc symptoms. Some patients might require more invasive options such as radiofrequency ablation. This involves using radiofrequency energy to damage the nerves that are sending pain signals to your brain.

Another option if your herniated disc is related to vertebral compression is kyphoplasty. This minimally invasive surgery reduces pain from the fracture, stabilizes your vertebra, and restore the vertebra to its standard height.

If you don't respond to these treatments, you might need to undergo a surgical procedure. Options include minimally invasive decompression, full or partial disc removal, fusion, and disc replacement.

Find the solution to your herniated disc pain by calling Dr. Eric Fanaee, MD or book an appointment online today.