Herniated Disc - Diagnosis & Treatment

A herniated disk is a common spinal condition that occurs when the soft inner material of a spinal disc bulges or leaks out through a tear in the tougher exterior. This can irritate or compress nearby nerves, causing pain, numbness, or weakness. Herniated disks can develop anywhere along the spine, but they most frequently occur in the lower back, radiating pain into the buttocks and leg.

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Herniated Disc Diagnosis & Treatment

When experiencing herniated disc symptoms, your doctor will start with a thorough physical examination. They'll look to identify the exact source of your pain and check your nerve function and muscle strength. You may be asked to walk, sit, or lift your legs during the exam to see how your movements affect the pain.

If your symptoms and the examination suggest a herniated disc, further imaging tests like an MRI, CT scan, or X-rays are typically used to confirm the diagnosis and locate the affected disc precisely.

The treatment for a herniated disc aims to relieve pain and help you resume your daily activities. The good news is, most people get better with non-surgical treatments, which may include:


  • Rest:

Avoiding movements that intensify the pain is crucial.

  • Pain Medication:

Over-the-counter pain relievers can alleviate your discomfort.

  • Physical Therapy:

Tailored exercises can strengthen your back and improve flexibility.

  • Heat or Ice Applications:

These can soothe pain and reduce muscle spasms.

  • Corticosteroid Injections:

If needed, these injections near the nerve roots can reduce inflammation and pain.


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Herniated Disc Surgery

When your herniated disc symptoms don't improve with standard treatments, surgery may be the next step.

Several surgical techniques are available, each targeting the root cause of your discomfort.

Discectomy involves removing the problematic disc, while laminectomy enlarges the spinal canal by removing part of the bone. Alternatively, artificial disc surgery replaces the damaged disc with a synthetic one. In some cases, spinal fusion may be recommended to stabilise the spine by joining two or more vertebrae.

These procedures work to relieve pressure on the nerves and spinal cord.


Herniated Disc Recovery Time

Recovery from a herniated disc varies, typically taking 2-12 weeks. Many people start feeling better within the first few weeks. The key to recovery is finding the right balance between rest and activity.


Living with a Herniated Disc

If you're living with a herniated disc, it's essential to keep moving despite any hesitancy. Limiting your activity too much can worsen stiffness and pain.

Gentle movements and stretching, following your healthcare provider's recommendations, are beneficial. Over-the-counter pain relievers can also help.

Most individuals start to feel better after a few weeks of maintaining this balanced approach to activity and rest.


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Schedule a Video Consultation or a Face-to-Face appointment at your convenience by using our online booking system.

Your dedicated Specialist Doctor will provide you with personalized treatment, tailoring it to your specific needs, and may include necessary medication.

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Take the First Step Towards Relief

Dealing with a herniated disc can be challenging, but remember, you're not in this alone. Our London clinic is ready to offer you the expert care and support you need.

By scheduling an appointment with us, you're taking a meaningful step towards managing your symptoms and improving your quality of life.

Our team is dedicated to providing you with a personalised treatment approach. Let us be your partner in navigating this path to recovery. Contact us today.


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