Disc Herniation

If you are suffering from a case of disc herniation and living in Miami, you are fortunate enough to have access to the Miami Back & Neck Specialists center. Here, you will receive the cutting-edge therapies to help your ruptured disc(s) heal on their own. If no improvement is shown within 4 to 6 weeks or certain aggravating factors call for immediate intervention, we can also reactivate nerves and help your body heal with minimally invasive surgical techniques. We offer a full range of care that is based firmly on the belief that less is more. Our advanced erudition and investment in the leading medical equipment and technologies make our techniques precise and effective.

Diagnostic Methods

When you are suffering pain that appears to emanate from your back, neck, or even your extremities, a herniated disc may be the cause. A disc is herniated when it bulges over or slips out of place and puts pressure on a nerve. Your doctor will first conduct a full physical exam and carefully consider your medical history before ordering any tests. Beyond X-Rays, our expert spinal center has a number of tools to help confirm and pinpoint the problem. This will also help us gauge the progression and healing of any injuries.

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – MRI scans provide some of the clearest images and are the preferred method of diagnosing herniated discs. The MRI machine uses radio frequency waves and electromagnetic fields to build an extremely detailed and accurate image of your vertebrae. This goes far beyond an X-ray and provides enough detail to perceive prior injuries and the different elements of the injured vertebrae: the annulus, nucleus, and disc. The annulus is the thin membrane that covers the disc. The nucleus is a shock-absorbing jelly-like substance that fills the disc.

Computerized tomography (CT) – The CT equipment creates digital 3D X-ray images that can help build evidence of a ruptured disc before the more expensive MRI tests may be required. Because the scans are three dimensional, an initial diagnosis of a slipped disc is easier than with two-dimensional X-Rays.

Myelogram – This type of X-Ray uses a special medical-grade dye to inject pigment into your spinal fluid. This makes it easier for other X-Ray equipment such as CT scans to pick up more details. These two methods are, therefore, often used in combination.

Nerve Conduction Studies/Electromyogram (NCS/EMG) – The final method is to determine the health of the nerves. NCS and EMG tests can map the electrical activity in the muscular system to detect nerve compression and deterioration.

Non-Invasive Treatments

We recommend a variety of non-invasive treatments that have been proven to be effective in many cases. These alternatives save you from having to undergo surgery and should always be explored unless the symptoms are unbearable. We may recommend:

  • Acupuncture
  • Bed rest
  • Physical therapy
  • Spinal alignment
  • Posture correction
  • Steroids
  • OTC pain relievers
  • Muscle relaxants
  • Epidural Injections

The good news is that symptoms of the ruptured disc will likely abate in less than 2 months without any surgery. We firmly believe in homeostasis and the body’s natural ability to heal itself, in most cases, by providing it a gentle nudge in the right direction.

If the results of these methods prove to be less than expected, our team of specialists can discuss a full range of more intensive options such as other therapies, methods of coping with pain, and minimally invasive neck surgery if necessary. The reality is that very few patients require surgery. Surgery is the last resort when patients have difficulty walking, bladder incontinence, or are suffering from unbearable pain.

Alternative Therapies

As stated, acupuncture is sometimes suggested to help relieve the pain and tenseness of disc herniation in Miami because hot compresses may be uncomfortable. However, acupuncture is not the only alternative therapy. Yoga can help build strength and aids in the recovery process. It also helps you stretch and regain mobility. It is proven to help chronic back pain and will help take the pressure off joints. You will also be able to manage pain better with meditation and tranquility as your body begins to heal.

Chiropractic care may be suggested if your symptoms involve lower back pain, or you are suffering from posture and alignment issues that are compounding your slipped disc issue. And like chiropractic care, massage therapy has the potential to momentarily relieve lower back pain and aids in the healing process.

Home Care

Anyone can find some solace when they are suffering from a slipped disc in the neck by taking OTC pain relievers. However, patients should be aware of how these medicines interact with other medications that they are taking and chronic health problems such as hypertension. People who suffer from high blood pressure may see blood pressure spikes if they take Ibuprofen because it can interfere with the ability of your kidneys to filter out salts.

Tylenol may be recommended for people who suffer from hypertension. Yet, they should be aware that Tylenol presents its own problems with liver toxicity, and that they should not drink alcohol or take any other medications that can affect liver function.

Although bed rest is recommended, these rest periods should be limited to 30-minute intervals to prevent atrophy of the muscles and weakening of the joints. In addition, hot and cold compresses can also be used to reduce pain and inflammation.