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Disc Herniation Visual Picture

May 16, 2008
Disc Herniation Picture - a layman may find actual Disc herniation picture as Latin and Greek and hence let us try to understand a written picture of what is meant by disc herniation or herniated disc. In Human Anatomy spine or backbone or vertebral column consists of 33 vertebrae (bones) that along human back connecting skull to pelvis. Vertebrae shield the nerves coming out from brain that further pass through the back and the entire body.

The spinal column is composed of discs that are like soft pads between hard bones that make up the spinal column. Inside these discs is a gelatinous substance which does the job of a shock absorber for the spinal column. The main parts of the spinal column are: Cervical (neck - portion behind skull) spine, thoracic (part of the back behind the chest) spine, lumbar (lower back) spine and sacral spine (the part which is connected to the pelvis and is not movable). In the lumbar spine the discs are covered with a thick layer of cartilage (annulus) and an inner gel like substance (nucleus).

Disc Herniation: Pinched nerves, bulging disc, ruptured disc, radiculopathy, (radiculopathy refers to any disease that affects spinal nerves) sciatica and slipped disc are few other terms for herniated disc. As the disc degenerates, it is likely to herniate i.e. to say that the inner core extrudes back into the spinal canal.

The discs in the spinal column become less elastic because of degeneration and the probability of a rapture increases. The same thing happens when disc raptures and a portion of it would push outside its normal boundary and start bulging out from between the vertebrae. Because the spinal nerves are situated pretty close to the edge of the spinal disc the disc poses a risk.

Symptoms of disc herniation: Considered the most common reason for pain in the neck, lower back, arms and legs. Symptoms also include electric shock like pain, tingling and numbness in the cervical and lumbar region, muscle weakness, loss of bowel or bladder control is to be handled as medical emergency. Sciatica ( is a condition wherein a sharp and shooting pain moves down from buttocks to the back of one leg) is also a very vivid sign of disc herniation.

Factors causing herniated discs: an accident or a repetitive strenuous activity of the back may cause a herniated disc condition, it can also be caused by a sudden strain on the back or it can also develop gradually due to ageing and degeneration of the discs. These past few years have seen more people incurring more sports related injuries and C-Spine (Cervical) injuries have caused disc herniation in both contact sports like football, hockey and wrestling and in non contact sports like skiing, diving, surfing and equestrian events.

Diagnosis and treatments of disc herniation: Depending on a patient's condition and symptoms, patients may be asked to undergo spine x-ray, spine CT, spine MRI, and EMG in order to properly diagnose herniated disc. Non-Surgical method of treatment may include rest and activity modification, physical therapy and hot and cold therapy, epidural steroid injections, oral steroid medications and NSAIDs (Non steroidal Anti Inflammatory Drugs).

Surgical Treatments are recommended and needed at times of siginificant neurological damages that cause loss of function and in conditions where non surgical treatments would be unsuccessful. Depending on the size and the location of the disk herniation, treatment via surgical methods may include microdisketomy or laminectomy. Arthroscopic surgery is the least invasive surgery that involves the use of an arthroscope (a type of endoscope) for examination and treatment of herniated discs.
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