A herniated disc happens when the disc between your vertebrae (the bones that form your spine) bulges out of place or squishes out through a tear in the outer layer. The herniated disc can then press against the nerves in your spine, causing pain in your back, legs, neck and arms.
Typically, wear and tear on the outer layer of the disc causes a herniated disc. Sometimes, though, an injury can cause a herniated disc.
A herniated disc is also known as a ruptured disc or a slipped disc. Most people experience a herniated disc in the lower back (sciatica), where it causes pain and numbness in the buttock and leg. Occasionally, people have a herniated disc in the neck. It is less common in the upper-to-middle back.
At Aurora Health Care, we focus on nonsurgical treatments first, like injections or physical therapy. If those methods don’t provide relief, we’ll discuss surgical options with you. Together, we’ll find the right treatment solution that fits your needs and lifestyle.
Aurora is one of the largest regional health care providers in Wisconsin, treating thousands of people for herniated discs and other back pain conditions every year. When you choose us for your care, you can count on:
A herniated disc doesn’t always cause back pain. However, if a ruptured disc presses on your spinal nerves, you may experience symptoms including:
Common causes and risk factors of a herniated disc include:
To see if you have a herniated disc, we will:
We may also order diagnostic tests to confirm your diagnosis, including:
Our experienced team will provide a precise diagnosis so we can get you the treatment you need fast. Learn more about our approach to orthopedic diagnosis.
Once you have a diagnosis, we will discuss your treatment plan with you. We’ll try nonsurgical methods first to relieve your back pain and restore your function. Nonsurgical treatments may include:
If nonsurgical treatments don’t provide enough relief, we’ll discuss whether surgery is right for you. Herniated disc surgery may be a good option if you have progressive nerve damage. Learn more about your spine surgery options at Aurora.