Herniated Disc Treatment in Kirkland & Bellevue, WA
Back pain from a herniated disc is a common symptom for people near the Seattle area. That’s why it’s always important to consult with a spine specialist who can provide an accurate diagnosis and an individualized treatment recommendation that will help alleviate your symptoms. Using the most advanced treatments, Dr. Edward Jung specializes in relieving pain and improving function for patients affected by problems like herniated discs and generally views surgery as a last resort. In fact, in most cases, the pain and other symptoms associated with a herniated disc can respond well to nonsurgical treatments. With that said, if surgery is recommended and a patient elects to proceed, Dr. Jung is a fellowship-trained spine surgeon that is experienced in performing the latest surgical techniques, including minimally invasive outpatient procedures. To schedule your appointment, call the Kirkland office nearest you or use the online appointment request form today. We welcome patients from all over the surrounding area including Redmond, Bellevue, Seattle, Bothel, and Kenmore.
A Herniated Disc is when the harder outside fibers of the disc are either damaged or deteriorates over time and the softer inner gel ruptures outside of its normal space. The softer material, when outside of the disc, puts more pressure on your spine and nerves which can create tremendous pain. There are three types of herniated discs. One of the most common reasons people see a spine specialist is for treatment of pain in the lower back (lumbar spine) from a lumbar disc herniation or neck pain (cervical spine) caused by a cervical disc herniation. Disc herniations are known by a variety of names including a slipped disc, ruptured disc, or herniated disc. Dr. Jung has extensive experience treating pain caused by herniated discs in the spine. Dr. Jung provides an accurate diagnosis and advanced treatment for a variety of spinal conditions.
What are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?
Often it is difficult for Kirkland area patients to pinpoint the precise moment their herniated disc occurred. It may have come about when the back muscles are used instead of leg and thigh muscles to lift a large, heavy object off the ground. Even twisting and turning while lifting can initiate a herniated disc. If you recognize some of the symptoms below as your own, it is time to reach out and contact us about scheduling an examination to determine if you have a herniated disc. The sooner you received an examination from Dr. Jung, the sooner it will help you address the problem immediately, so you can get back into the swing of things as soon as possible.
Lumbar Disc Herniation
- Discomfort or pain that radiates from the lower back, down one or both legs and possibly to the feet
- Constant shooting pain that may increase when moving or sitting
- Leg weakness
- Numbness and tingling in the leg or foot
- Limited range of motion
- Difficulty walking
- Problems with bladder or bowel control, in severe cases
Cervical Disc Herniation
- Discomfort, shooting pain, or burning that radiates down the arm
- Neck pain when turning the head or bending the neck
- Pain on or near a shoulder blade
- Weakness in the arm or hand
- Numbness and tingling in the arm
- Limited range of motion
- Difficulty using the arms or hands
What Causes a Herniated Disc?
Herniated discs are most often caused by a normal aging wear-and-tear condition called disc degeneration. As you age, this disc becomes less flexible and more likely to rupture or tear with minor strains.
Because of this, many people can’t identify the exact cause of their herniated disk-sometimes, it’s as simple as using your back muscles to move a heavy object rather than your legs. Other times, a traumatic event may be the cause such as falling on your back.
What Risk Factors Can Lead to a Herniated Disc?
Here are the factors that can lead to a herniated disc:
- Occupation– People with physically demanding jobs where they lift and move heavy objects are also at a greater risk of having a herniated disc.
- Weight– Excess body weight causes stress on the discs in your spine.
- Genetics– If you have a family history of herniated discs, you may be more likely to get one due to a genetic predisposition.
Smoking– Doctors believe that smoking lessens the oxygen supply to the disc, causing it to deteriorate more quickly.
How is a Herniated Disc Diagnosed?
You can anticipate that Dr. Jung will perform a comprehensive review of your medical history; conduct a complete physical, and perform one or more diagnostic tests. In order to better understand is the cause of herniated disc symptoms, Dr. Jung might order one or more of the following tests:
- CT scan
Additionally, Dr. Jung can order a nerve test such as a nerve conductions study or an EMG to help pinpoint the location of your nerve damage. MRIs can also be used to locate nerve damage.
Minor symptoms of herniated discs will resolve on their own over time. If symptoms are intense and continue for several weeks, or result from a sudden injury, you likely need treatment. Dr. Jung is highly experienced in diagnosing herniated discs and other spinal disorders as well as providing both surgical and non-surgical care for Seattle area patients.