You may think of disc herniation as something to worry about in your senior years, but you might face it sooner than you think. Herniated discs most often occur between the ages of 35 and 55. At New Jersey Pain, Spine & Sports Associates, Faheem Abbasi, MD, provides comprehensive care for herniated discs, including advanced interventional treatments that effectively ease your pain and repair the problem. If you need to find relief from the pain caused by disc herniation, book an appointment online or call one of the offices in North Brunswick, Hazlet, or Elizabeth, New Jersey.
Spinal discs have a strong outer layer that encloses an inner gel-like fluid. Over time, the outer cover deteriorates and weak spots or cracks develop. Disc herniation occurs when the inner gel pushes through a weak area or when the cover tears and the gel leaks out.
The top symptom of a herniated disc is pain. Your pain may vary from mild to debilitating, and it could feel like a constant ache or a sudden, intense burst of pain.
Herniated discs often pinch or irritate the nearby nerves. Compressed nerves cause additional symptoms such as pain, tingling, or burning that travel down the nerve.
If your disc herniation is in your neck, nerve symptoms affect your arms and hands. Nerve pain and tingling travels down your legs when the herniated disc is in your lower back.
Dr. Abbasi offers a wide range of diagnostics tests, including electromyography (EMG) and nerve conduction studies and discograms. A discogram, which involves X-rays and a dye injected into the disc, creates detailed images that allow Dr. Abbasi to precisely locate the damaged disc.
Treatment for a herniated disc begins with conservative therapies such as medications and physical therapy. When your pain doesn’t improve, Dr. Abbasi recommends a minimally invasive interventional treatment.
Dr. Abbasi uses real-time X-ray imaging called fluoroscopy to guide all minimally invasive procedures. These are a few examples of the approaches that could be part of your treatment:
Dr. Abbasi injects steroids into the epidural space surrounding the spinal nerves. Steroids effectively reduce inflammation as the medication flows around the damaged nerves.
Using a specialized needle that sends out radiofrequency energy, Dr. Abbasi precisely wounds the nerve responsible for sending pain signals to your brain. The wound blocks the pain signals, which in turn reduces your pain.
A discectomy is a minimally invasive procedure to remove all or part of the damaged disc. During a nucleoplasty, Dr. Abbasi removes a small amount of tissue from the disc, relieving pressure on the nerves.
Dr. Abbasi performs IDET by inserting a narrow catheter-containing needle into the disc. Then heat from the catheter blocks nerves, toughens the disc, and seals any tears.
If you have ongoing back or neck pain, call New Jersey Pain, Spine & Sports Associates or book an appointment online today.