Herniated disc FAQ stands for frequently asked questions about spinal disc issues. We get so many questions from all of you readers that we decided to post this FAQ page to help you get many of the answers to your common questions immediately. Here are listed many of the questions that we receive at least once a day, along with their corresponding answers.
This FAQ provides helpful information for patients looking for fast answers to questions they might have concerning a herniated disc or degenerative disc disease finding on an MRI report.
Q: What is a herniated disc?
A: A herniated disc is
when one of the spinal discs bulges from its typical shape or even
ruptures, splitting open and spilling the contents of the disc into the
spinal region. More info can be found on our page titled
what is a herniated disc?
Q: Why do herniated discs hurt?
A: Most of them don’t. Some do, especially when caused by sudden acute trauma. The majority of herniated discs are asymptomatic.
Q: If they do not hurt, then why does my back hurt? I have been told that I have a herniated disc.
A: Yes, I am sure you do. They are super common. I have 12 of them that I know of, as well. The disc is unlikely to be the source of chronic back pain. If it was painful at one time, it is likely to have healed. Additionally, if the pain was actually from the disc, then the treatments you have tried are likely to have resolved it.
Q: Ok, so what is causing my pain?
A: I can not say for sure in every case, without case specific information, such as MRI results. However, some patients with chronic pain are suffering from regional ischemia, mistakenly identified as disc pain. Others might have undiscovered structural issues elsewhere in the spine. Some simply have idiopathic pain which can not be linked to a definitive source.
Q: What is the best treatment for a herniated disc?
A: For actual structurally problematic discs, many treatments may work. Spinal decompression is a good one. I tend to advise patients to avoid surgery when possible. Being that most discs are not the real source of pain, several failed treatments are a clue that something may be amiss in the diagnostic theory. A large list of possible therapy options is available on our herniated disc treatment page.
Q: Why is surgery bad?
A: Herniated disc surgery is often used on mistakenly identified disc pain syndromes. Operating on a disc when it is not the actual source of pain will not cure anything. However the damage done by the operation is very real and will have dire health consequences. Long-term surgical results clearly show that invasive interventions for any type of back pain generally fail. Many, many patients are made worse, either immediately or eventually.
A: The doctor may be right and you may need the operation, although paralysis is almost unheard of, even in these instances. In the rest of the cases, the doctor may simply want to make money. Sorry to put it so bluntly, but it is the truth. Get a second opinion. I was advised to have surgery, and even threatened with terrible consequences for my refusal, by several doctors. I have heard all the doom and gloom first hand. It has been over 25 years since I was told surgery was imminent for me.
I hope this FAQ section has helped in answering your questions. If not, there are hundreds of articles on our site and all my other Cure Back Pain Network sites. To find what you are looking for, use the search function for best results.