Can you leave a herniated disc untreated?

Can you leave a herniated disc untreated?

A serious slipped disc that goes untreated might cause irreversible nerve damage. A slipped disc can, in rare situations, cut off nerve impulses to the cauda equina nerves in your lower back and legs. If this happens, you may lose control of your bowels or bladder. "Saddle anesthesia" is another long-term consequence. This condition means you will always feel pain when sitting in a chair for any length of time.

However, most discs that leak fluid inside the spinal canal are treated with conservative measures such as physical therapy, medication, and exercise. You should try not to aggravate your injury by never lifting more than you can handle using safe techniques. Otherwise, you might be forced to retire early due to an occupational disability.

If you continue to have problems after trying these methods, then surgery might be necessary. However, even with surgery, you might still have pain caused by nerve root impingement. This could happen if scar tissue forms around the nerve roots as they move out of their normal path.

Nerve root impingement can also occur without any trauma if there is degenerative change within the disk material. As we age, our disks begin to dry out and break down, which causes them to stiffen and decrease their elasticity. This makes it harder for us to move our backs properly. Disks also become thinner over time, allowing them to crack and break.

Can you feel a herniated disc with your hand?

Your hands have gone numb. Herniated disc symptoms encompass more than just discomfort. Because the slipped disc affects the nerves in the spinal column, it can change how messages are sent and received by the brain in a variety of ways. People with herniation problems may experience:

Numbness or weakness in one side of the body Pain that travels down one leg and back again Difficulty walking or standing for long periods

Herniated discs are common problems that many people struggle with their entire lives. The good news is that there are several treatments available that can provide relief for these individuals.

The most effective way to manage herniation problems is through prevention. Staying active and maintaining a healthy weight will help reduce your chances of developing a slipped disc in the first place. If you do suffer from a disc herniation, rest up before starting any treatment programs. Consider seeing your doctor to be diagnosed and treated.

When should I worry about a herniated disc?

Contact your doctor right away if you have any of the following severe herniated disc symptoms: Loss of bowel and/or bladder control, as well as loss of sensation in the lower extremities (legs and feet): These symptoms, which might be caused by a herniated lumbar (low back) disc, could be associated to cauda equina syndrome. That's a condition where the spinal cord is exposed beyond its normal limits because of a ruptured or degenerating disc. This can cause damage to these nerves, which may result in paralysis.

Other serious conditions that require prompt attention include infection of the disc space or surrounding tissue. The immune system works against bacteria just like it does against viruses. When an infection reaches the bone next to a disc, it can lead to premature breakdown of the joint. This can then allow the bacteria to enter the bone and cause it to become infected too. Back pain, fever, and nausea are all signs that something is wrong with your body's response to an infection. If you experience any of these symptoms, contact your doctor immediately.

Herniated discs can also lead to chronic pain. This is especially true for those who already have one damaged disc in their spine. If you have two damaged discs, you're at risk for developing spondylolisthesis—a condition where one vertebra moves forward because the pressure is off of its counterpart. This can lead to nerve irritation and pain when trying to move your torso or neck.

How long does it take a herniated disc to heal without surgery?

Without therapy, most patients recover from a slipped disc in six weeks. However, if the disk protrudes through the wall of the vertebral body and causes nerve irritation, then pain will persist after the disk reabsorbs back into its normal position.

Healing after discectomy (surgery to remove a herniated disc) depends on how much tissue was removed during the operation. If only some of the disc material is removed, then the space remaining behind is prone to further injury as well as infection. As such, repeated surgeries may be necessary to repair or replace parts of the ruptured disc.

Many people are surprised to learn that there is no exact time limit for the recovery process following a slipped disc. It takes about half a year on average before you can expect to feel completely healed again. However, many people who have had several discs removed experience chronic pain which does not go away even after all the damaged tissue has healed.

If you or someone you know has suffered an injury due to a slipped disc, contact a Massachusetts personal injury lawyer at Friedman, Friedman & Epstein LLP today for a free consultation. Our team of lawyers specializes in disc injuries and other types of personal injuries caused by negligent parties.

Can a herniated disc affect the whole body?

A herniated disc in your lower back can cause severe or chronic back pain, or it can induce sciatica, a shooting pain in your buttocks, thigh, or calf that can reach all the way into your foot. Numbness, tingling, or muscular weakness may also occur elsewhere along this nerve tract. A herniated disc can also compress or irritate surrounding nerves, causing arm pain, leg pain, or incontinence.

Herpes virus can lead to encephalitis (an inflammation of the brain). One out of every five people who get herpes simplex virus type 1 (the most common form of the virus) will develop encephalitis. The more severe the case of encephalitis is, the more likely it is that you will experience long-term problems with cognitive function, such as memory loss or confusion. Less often, encephalitis can lead to seizures, paralysis, and death.

Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver. There are several types of hepatitis, but most can be divided into two main categories: viral and alcoholic. Viral hepatitis includes both hepatitis A and E viruses. The hepatitis A virus can only infect humans; there is no known animal reservoir for the virus. Humans can become infected by eating contaminated food or water or through contact with an infected person's stool. The hepatitis E virus exists within the feces of infected animals and can be transmitted via the same routes as hepatitis A virus.

Which is worse: an annular tear or a herniated disc?

A herniated disc, unlike an annular rupture, which may not be felt at first, is frequently painful because it compresses the nerves around it. A herniated disc can cause the following symptoms: Back ache Pain, weakness, and numbness that spreads throughout the body (a result of a nerve being compressed) Difficulty walking or standing (because the back muscles are tired out) Loss of bladder control (due to the nerve being compressed behind the spine)

Herniated discs are more common than ruptured discs. However, contrary to popular belief, ruptured discs are not necessarily symptomatic. An annular tear does not contain any spinal cord material and so cannot cause symptoms by itself. However, an intact annulus prevents the vertebrae above and below it from properly moving with respect to each other, which could lead to instability of the area.

Symptoms of a herniated disc include pain, stiffness, and difficulty moving parts of the body such as neck, back, arms, or legs. If you have these symptoms, see your doctor to have them diagnosed and treated properly. In many cases, doctors can diagnose herniation of a disc simply by looking at x-rays of the spine. For more severe cases, they may need to do magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT) scans to view the interior of the spine.

About Article Author

Judith Knight

Judith Knight has been a nurse for over 15 years. She has experience in both inpatient and outpatient settings. She loves her job because she gets to help people feel better! One of her favorite parts of her job is working with patients one-on-one to help them understand their health concerns and how they can best take care of themselves.

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