Herniated Spinal Disc Diseases

What is disc herniation?

A herniated disc is likely to occur in the lower back (lumbar spine).

Disc herniation is classified as ab injury that affects the cushion (disc space). This can cause:

  • Back Pain
  • Weakness in the legs
  • Pins and Needles
  • Nerve irritations

Depending on the severity of the symptoms, it can be treated conservatively.

When the disc ruptures, doctors refer to this as a herniated disc.

What are the symptoms?

Pain in the neck or back, depending on the area injured

Numbness in the limbs (arms or legs)

Muscle weakness

How do you treat disc herniation?

In some cases, herniated disc pain can dissipate over time, particularly after the intake of pain relievers. Pain is likely to ease after three days of continuous rest. Both an ice pack and a heated bag can temporarily relieve pain.

Nerve block injections (epidurals) are steroid shots that can be injected into the spine directly. Medications of this kind can relieve swelling and inflammation around the affected region.

Surgery is required in the event the herniated disc is large enough that it leads to damage to the nerves of the bowel or bladder. Spinal decompression is a surgery done to reduce pressure on the nerve roots.

Multiple surgeries exist to alleviate pressure on the spinal nerve roots and the spinal cord, such as:

  • Discectomy is a favourable procedure to remove the damaged disc, placing increased pressure on the spinal nerves.
  • Laminectomy is the surgical resection of the vertebral bone (lamina) to create more room in the spinal canal. Fortunately, the procedure decreases nerve root and spinal cord pressure.
  • Spinal fusion is the last stage of surgery and involves fusing the ends of the bones to stabilise and improve the sturdiness of the spine.

Prevention is often better than treatment, so it is important to maintain a healthy weight by eating a balanced diet which consists of fruit and vegetables. Patients are advised to maintain good posture, especially when sitting at the computer and are encouraged to stretch at regular intervals


1. Does disc herniation get worse when left untreated?

Yes, especially when the patient continues to engage in strenuous activities that caused the pain in the first place.

2. Who is likely to suffer a herniated disc?

Patients between thirty and fifty are likely to develop disc herniation because this is largely considered an age-related condition.
Other risk factors include:

  • Obesity
  • Lifting heavy weights
  • Repetitive stress
  • Smoking

3. How does Dr Bomela diagnose disc herniation?

Dr Bomela will conduct the following tests to diagnose disc herniation:

  • First, an x-ray is done to find the cause of back and neck pain.
  • Then, MRI is an imaging test that is used to scan for a ruptured disc.
  • Finally, a CT scan reveals images of the vertebrae.