Disc Herniations

Healthy discs act as shock absorbers of the spine, and improve the spine flexibility. They are located between the vertebral bodies in the spine. A disc is formed of an outer ring called the annulus, and inner gel which is known as the nucleous pulposus. If a disc outer ring or annulus is torn or damaged the inner nucleus pulposus can leak out which is called a disc herniation.


A herniated disc may be caused by either wear and tear of the disc or acute traumatic injury to the spine. If a herniated disc presses on nerve roots, it can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the area of the body where the nerve travels. The disc itself has tiny nerve innervations which can be a source of pain. A chemical disc is caused by an inflammatory reaction to the nucleous pulposus leaking into the epidural space, which also leads to nerve and back pain.


Diagnosis of a herniated disc is made through MRI or CT scan imaging.


Treatment of an acute disc herniation with nerve pain can include physical therapy, medication management, and Interventional steroid injections. Dr. Desai will select the specific type of treatment based upon the patient presentation and case.