Herniated Disk | Ruptured Disk

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Herniated Disk | Ruptured Disk

A ruptured disc can be a painful experience that greatly affects your movement. A ruptured disc may also be referred to as a herniated or slipped disc. The pain or discomfort of those with ruptured discs is more often felt in the lower back, but it can happen anywhere along the spine.


The symptoms experienced by herniated discs are due to a pinched nerve in the spine, causing the discs in your back to shift. Most signs of a ruptured disc include sciatica pain. The sciatica is a set of nerves that start at your spinal cord and run down your hips, back, and down to your legs. This can feel like a weak, burning, or numb pain. Common signs and symptoms of a ruptured disc can include:

  • Aching
  • Pain when moving, like bending or standing
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Muscle weakness
  • Difficulty getting up when seated
  • Bad posture


Back pain can typically be treated in a variety of different ways, depending on the level of pain you are experiencing. You can do at-home treatments to alleviate symptoms, such as applying hot and cold treatments. Some individuals may find they prefer heat, and others may find that cold treatments are more conducive to minimizing symptoms. You can also use over-the-counter pain relievers, such as Ibuprofen, Tylenol, or Aleve.


While it can seem impossible when you are in pain, try to keep yourself mobile and exercise when possible. If you are experiencing intense pain, speak to your physician as surgery may be necessary or recommended. Ruptured disc exercises can often strengthen your back and core, easing some pressure on your discs. Others find that chiropractic care, acupuncture, or massage is helpful.


Once your pain and discomfort last longer than a few months, you may want to consider surgery. Some injections are available to ease inflammation and discomfort; however, they are not a long-term solution. During ruptured disc surgery, the disc material is removed to provide less impact on the spine. To determine if surgery is a good option for you, you may get different scans done, such as a ruptured disc MRI, x-ray, or CT scan. There are also different types of surgeries available depending on the location and extent of the disc damage.

To know the best option for you, discuss options with your physician. Often, remedies completed at home or with a physical therapist may be the least invasive. If those methods do not work, you may want to consider injections or surgery.

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