Herniated Disc: Causes, Diagnosis, and Management in Anderson

A herniated disc or slipped disc happens when one of the cushions between the vertebrae slips out of position and presses on a nerve. These rubbery discs are present between all vertebrae in the spine and act as shock absorbers.

At our Anderson spine center, we offer effective treatments and pain management for people who suffer from a herniated disc. Let us tell you everything you need to know about this condition. Contact us today to book your first appointment.

Why Do Herniated Discs Happen?

A disc may slip out of position for various reasons, some traumatic, some degenerative. For example, a sudden physical shock can cause a herniated disc. It is often seen in victims of:

  • Car accidents
  • Sports accidents
  • Slip and fall accidents
  • Getting crushed under a heavy object.

Also, a herniated disc may be the result of constant wear and tear due to:

  • a job that involves lifting heavy weights
  • repetitive movements
  • being overweight.

Finally, some people are genetically predisposed to develop this condition. Thus, if you know people in your family who suffered a slipped disc, you should take proactive care to prevent this condition.

Recognize the Symptoms of a Slipped Disc

A herniated disc will have different symptoms depending on the region of the spine where it occurred. Here are the main areas where a disc may slip and the types of symptoms you may experience.

1. Lumbar Region (Lower Back)

This is the most common region of the spine where people develop a slipped disc. The patients experience pain or numbness in the buttocks, thighs, and calves. If the disc presses on the sciatic nerve, the pain travels down the legs and the condition is known as sciatica.

2. Cervical Region (Neck)

A herniated disc in the upper part of the spine is often caused by sudden trauma. The pain and numbness usually affect the shoulders and arms. If the herniation is severe, then the patient may also experience neck stiffness, as well as weakness and numbness in the legs.

lower back pain can be caused by a slipped disc

3. Thoracic Region (Middle Back)

As the doctors at our Anderson spine center can attest, this region of the spine is the least likely to develop a slipped disc. However, patients who come to us for help experience pain around the rib cage and to the front of the body.

How to Diagnose a Herniated Disc

To determine the best course of treatment, doctors must know the exact location of the slipped disc. This involves performing several diagnostic tests.

  • X-ray: This test is often perfumed to rule out other causes of your back pain, such as a broken rib, muscle tear or a fractured vertebra
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): This test offers the most detailed and accurate view of the spine, where a slipped disc is visible.
  • Computer tomography (CT Scan): This test will show the bones in your spine very clearly, including a disc that slipped into the space around the spinal cord and nerves.
  • Myelogram: By injecting a special, safe dye into your spine, the CT scan becomes more accurate, showing the narrowing of the spinal canal due to the slipped disc.
  • Electromyogram: Doctors will place small needles into various muscles to evaluate how your nerve works. This will help pinpoint the nerve affected by the herniated disc.

Treatment Options for Slipped Discs

Our doctors will create a personalized treatment plan depending on the severity of the condition and your overall medical history. Some of the most effective treatments we offer include the following.

Chiropractic Manipulations

Chiropractic manipulations of the spine may encourage a slipped disc to return to its regular position and stop pressing on the nerves. This is a non-invasive procedure, recommended for people with specific health conditions, who cannot take pain medication or undergo invasive procedures.


Injections containing a combination of steroids and anti-inflammatory substances can help manage pain caused by a slipped disc for a period of up to several weeks. This is the best option when medication and invasive procedures are contraindicated.

Nerve Blocks

Many patients respond to nerve block treatments, which involve injecting special substances that block the pain signals sent by the nerves to the brain.

Radiofrequency Ablation

Radiofrequency Ablation (also known as RFA or Radiofrequency Neurotomy) utilizes an electrical current from radio waves to heat nerve tissue, stopping the nerves from transmitting pain signals. This procedure is very safe and effective and is typically completed in 15-20 minutes.

Find Relief From Pain at our Anderson Spine Center!

Pain and numbness caused by a herniated disc can be extremely debilitating. Many patients find it hard to perform daily activities, such as cleaning the house or carrying groceries.

At our Anderson spine center, we use tested and proven therapies to help you find relief from pain and get back to your regular life. Call us today at 864-535-0144 to schedule your first appointment!