Texas Star Pain & Spine
Gonzalo Gonzales, DO
Pain Management Specialist & Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation Physician located in Plano, TX
If you’re experiencing pain, weakness, or loss of sensation in your arm or leg, you could be suffering from a herniated disc. Gonzalo Gonzales, Jr., MD at Texas Clinic Pain & Spine is an experienced physical medicine and rehabilitation physician specializing in pain management. If you’re in the area of Plano, Texas, call the office or schedule an appointment online today to learn more about your treatment options.
Herniated Disc Q & A
What is a herniated disc?
The vertebrae in your spine are separated by discs that cushion the spinal column against impact. Each roundish disc contains a soft center surrounded by firmer exterior reminiscent of a jelly donut.
When you have a herniated disc, the soft center of your disc leaks out. In some cases, this can put pressure on surrounding nerves. Not all herniated discs cause symptoms, but when they do, they lead to the nerve disturbances associated with sciatica-like pain, weakness, and numbness in a leg or arm.
Herniated discs are also known as slipped or ruptured discs. They’re most common in your lower back.
What causes a herniated disc?
Herniated discs are typically the result of disc degeneration, a normal part of the aging process.
As you age, your discs lose water and become less flexible which makes them vulnerable to rupturing or tearing. Additional factors that increase your risk of herniating a disc include:
- Being overweight
- Physically demanding jobs
You can reduce your risk of developing a herniated disc by practicing good posture, maintaining a healthy weight, and strengthening your core muscles to better support and stabilize the spine.
How are herniated discs diagnosed and treated?
During your appointment, Dr. Gonzales conducts a physical and neurological examination. This evaluates your muscle strength, reflexes, balance, walking, and response to stimulation. Based on your results, he might also recommend digital imaging tests to rule out other conditions or confirm the location of your herniated disc.
Dr. Gonzales is a pain management specialist who provides the most effective noninvasive solutions to ease your symptoms. When treating your herniated disc, these might include:
- Over-the-counter or prescription pain relievers
- Muscle relaxants or anti-inflammatory medications
- Physical therapy, yoga, massage, or acupuncture
Besides traditional pain management solutions, Dr. Gonzales also offers interventional pain management targeted to directly to the source of your pain.
Epidural steroid injections
Epidural steroid injections reduce inflammation by delivering anti-inflammatory medication directly into the sac surrounding the nerve root.
Selective nerve root blocks (SNRBs)
SNRBs are a combination of steroids and anti-inflammatory medications. The injection is guided using live imaging to deliver the medication directly to the nerve where it exits between the vertebrae.
Call Texas Clinic Pain & Spine or schedule an appointment online to learn more about herniated disc diagnosis and treatment.