Herniated Disc Specialist

Downtown Spine & Sports

Sports Medicine Specialist & Physical Therapist located in New York, NY

Your spine supports your body and allows you to stand, sit, bend and twist. If you start having issues with your spine and back, it can negatively impact your day-to-day life. Many New Yorkers suffer from neck and back pain, some of which stem from herniated, degenerated, slipped or bulging discs. Whether you work behind a desk all day or run around like any other New Yorker, we all share the same aches and pains. If you have been suffering from herniated discs and are seeking relief, we offer several options to help you treat your condition.

Herniated Disc Q&A

What Is a Herniated Disc?

Your spine is made of 24 vertebrae (seven in the neck, twelve in the mid-back and five in the lower back). In between each vertebra, you have a disc which serves as a cushion between the vertebral bodies of the spine. The inside of these discs are jelly-like and their function is to minimize the force and impact placed on your spine when you move. With age or injury, the inside of the disc can bulge and rupture through its structure and can affect or irritate a nearby nerve. When this occurs, it is called a herniated disc. Herniated discs are more common in the lower back but can occur in the neck as well.

What Causes Herniated, Bulging, Slipped or Degenerated Discs?

Herniated discs can occur quickly as a result of sudden trauma or injury, such as a car accident or sports injury, or they can occur slowly as a result of years of poor posture. They can also arise as you get older from normal wear-and-tear. As you age, your discs naturally lose their water content, flexibility, and elasticity which leaves you more susceptible to back issues as well.

What are the Symptoms?

You may have little to no symptoms depending on where the herniation is and whether any of the surrounding nerve tissue is being irritated or not. On the other end of the spectrum, you may also suffer severe pain. It can be localized to the specific area of the herniation and can range anywhere from a dull pain to a sharp, radiating pain.

If you have pain radiating down your arm, your herniation is in your neck. If your pain runs down your buttocks and legs, it typically means you have a disc herniation in your lower back. You may also experience numbness or muscle weakness which can impact your ability to lift or hold things. Tingling, numbness or weakness in the limbs could also be a sign.

What are the Treatment Options?

 

We use a combination of modalities to treat herniated discs and provide pain relief, including the following:


Physical therapy – stretching and strengthening exercises can be very effective, especially the earlier that you detect it. Our physical therapists can work with you and teach you exercises to strengthen the muscles, minimize pain and reduce the pressure on the spine. As a part of physical therapy, massage can ease the tense muscles.


Spinal Decompression Therapy to Treat Herniated Discs

Spinal decompression therapy is a type of motorized traction and it is very effective in treating herniated, degenerated, bulging and slipped discs. In our office, we use the DRX9000 and DRX9000C spinal decompression systems and we are one of only a few practices in the city with this state-of-the-art equipment. You may be a candidate for spinal decompression therapy even if you have tried physical therapy and other modalities to no avail. It has even helped many patients who had been offered spinal surgery avoid surgery altogether.


A spinal decompression system is a machine which uses traction to gently stretch the spine, alleviating the pressure off the spine while allowing healing nutrients in. The traction therapy creates a negative pressure within the disc which pulls the material back in and creates for a more effective healing environment which accelerates the healing process. Typically, symptoms like pain, numbness, pins and needles sensations and tingling are reduced greatly within the first 2 weeks of treatment.


With spinal decompression therapy, there is no downtime, so you can book a session before, during, or after work and get back to your day easily. It is a low-risk treatment and there are virtually no side effects, although some may experience muscle spasms for a short period of time. Spinal decompression therapy can help those who haven’t seen results with conservative measures – inquire to see if you’re a good candidate today.


Injections

We can also offer you different types of injections, as indicated.


Acupuncture

This is an ancient healing art with many different uses and it can also be used on its own or in conjunction with the other therapies.