Join our Facebook giveaway to earn a shot at Nashville SC tickets! 

Herniated Disc - When Should You See an Orthopedic Surgeon?

Lower back pain caused by disc herniation



What Is a Herniated Disc?

If you are experiencing pain, weakness, or numbness in your arms or legs, you may have a herniated disc. A herniated disc, also known as a ruptured disc, refers to issues with the soft, rubber disc between the spinal bone. A ruptured disc can occur in two places: the lower back, known as the lumbar spine, and the neck, known as the cervical spine, causing back pain and neck pain.

Herniated discs are quite common and do not always need treatment. Most of the time they can be healed by rest; however, if symptoms persist, you may need to see an orthopedic surgeon near you specializing in spine surgery.


What Causes a Herniated Disc?

Herniated discs most often occur due to age. When we age, discs begin to gradually degenerate, and the surrounding ligaments lose strength. The older you are, the more likely it is for a minor injury to cause a disc to rupture.

In addition to aging, herniated discs can be caused by injuries and genetics. If multiple people in your family have experienced herniated discs, you may be genetically inclined to get one as well.


Herniated Disc Symptoms

Symptoms associated with herniated discs typically only occur when the disc is pressing on a nerve. This can cause weakness, numbness, and pain in the connected nerve, most often resulting in back pain.

Symptoms may be experienced in the arms and legs. More specifically, experts at Mayo Clinic say, “If your herniated disk is in your lower back, you'll typically feel the most pain in your buttocks, thigh, and calf. You might have pain in part of the foot, as well. If your herniated disk is in your neck, you'll typically feel the most pain in your shoulder and arm.”

If the herniated disc is not pressing on a nerve, you may experience little to no symptoms at all.


How Can I Prevent a Herniated Disc?

Herniated discs are not always preventable, but here are some steps that may help with prevention:


Herniated Disc Treatment

There are a variety of treatment options for herniated discs, ranging from rest to surgery. Most people who experience a herniated disc will just need to rest and focus on preventing the disc from getting worse. However, if your symptoms do not lessen after six weeks, you may need to see a physical therapist or a spine specialist. 


Book an Appointment with a Back Doctor or Neck Doctor Near You

If you are experiencing persistent issues relating to a herniated disc, like lower back pain, other back pain, neck pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling,  come see one of our amazing spine doctors: Colin G. Crosby, MD, or R. Christopher Glattes, MD. Find an orthopedic surgeon near you in Nashville, TN or Franklin, TN!

You can book an appointment with Colin G. Crosby, MD at our Midtown or Green Hills location in Nashville, TN.

You can book an appointment with R. Christopher Glattes, MD at our Midtown, Green Hills, or Centennial locations in Nashville, TN, or our Cool Springs location in Franklin, TN. 

Marina von Rutenberg Marina is the Marketing Coordinator for Elite Sports Medicine + Orthopedics. She has been writing and reviewing medical content since 2021.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Doctor vs. Podiatrist

When you have a problem with your foot or ankle that requires medical attention, who do you see for treatment — an orthopedist or a podiatrist? Many people think a podiatrist is the same as an orthopedist, but there are several significant differences betw

What Is an Orthopedic Surgeon?

Orthopedic surgeons treat conditions in the knee, shoulder, elbow, back, hand, foot, and more. Learn more about orthopedic surgery and how you can find the best doctor near you. Elite has 12 highly skilled orthopedic surgeons in Nashville, TN.

The Back Doctor - What You Should Know

Do you need to see a back doctor in Nashville, TN? Our team of fellowship-trained orthopedic surgeons include some of the best spine specialists near you. Learn about symptoms and prevention of back pain and back conditions.

The Hand Doctor - What You Should Know

Do you need to see a hand doctor in Nashville, TN? Our award-winning orthopedic surgeons include some of the best hand specialists near you. Check out this guide to see if you could live a lower pain lifestyle.

5 Things Every Athlete Should Know

As an athlete, a healthy body is the key to success within your sport. It is important to know how to prevent injuries and how to maintain a healthy lifestyle that supports the physical demands your sport requires.

Why Do My Shins Hurt When Running?

Have you recently taken up running? You may find yourself grabbing for your lower leg or unable to continue. This may be due to shin splints, one of the most common injuries in runners.