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Early Orthopedic Treatment Better for Herniated Discs

Posted by floriza in Orthopedics

An orthopedics study published in the Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery has concluded that patients who receive treatment for herniated discs within six months of experiencing symptoms have a better outcome. The study participants were 1,192 adults (over the age of 18) who were enrolled in a particular trial that spanned 11 states.

The patients studied received intervertebral lumbar disc herniation treatment – some surgical and some non-surgical.

The results showed that patients who did not seek medical help until more than six months had passed since they experienced back pain were less likely to show improvement after treatment. This included a reduction in pain and an improvement in function. More than three-quarters of the patients in the study were treated prior to the six-month mark, while the remaining patients were treated after six months. Follow-up was conducted several times over a four-year period.

What are Spinal Discs?

Spinal discs are like shock absorbers between the vertebrae (the bones of the spine) that look a bit like jelly doughnuts. The discs also assist in holding the vertebrae together and in helping the spine to move. The vertebrae are divided into three sections: the cervical (upper), thoracic (middle), and lumbar (lower).

What is a Herniated Disc?

As we age, the discs degenerate because they become dehydrated, inflamed, and stiff. In many people, this process leads to back pain. The discs receive no blood, which is why they cannot repair themselves when injured or degenerated.

A herniated disc, sometimes also called a ruptured disc or bulging disc, is one that has been torn in its outer portion. The center portion begins to bulge as a result.

Unfortunately, people may be unaware that they have a herniated disc, making it difficult to follow the recommendations created by this study. The pain from such an injury can center more in the extremities before the back and can include numbness and tingles. Some herniated discs cause no pain at all; this is especially true of discs in the cervical vertebrae.

When symptoms are present, however, they are usually felt on one side of the body, although severe herniations can cause pain on both sides.

Heavy lifting or prolonged sitting for long periods of time, such as office jobs, can cause disc herniations. Orthopedists emphasize the importance of bending the knees when lifting heavy objects and not lifting from the waist.

If you seek treatment with an orthopedist in New Jersey, there are facilities in Trenton, Newark, Summit, and other parts of the state.

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