Herniated Disc Injury (Motor Vehicle Injury, Truck Injury)
Spinal discs are the pads between each vertebra of the spinal column. They act as shock absorbers for the body, compensating for the stresses of everyday movement: running, jumping, sitting, standing, walking, etc. Each disc has a tough, durable exterior but is filled with a soft, jelly-like material. Herniated discs occur when stress (usually from natural wear and tear as we age, but occasionally from improper lifting or other kinds of physical trauma) (motor vehicle injury, truck injury) pushes some of the softer material through a rupture in the exterior portion of the disc. This can aggravate or compress nearby spinal nerves, causing extreme pain. Depending on the seriousness of the spinal nerve compression, back pain may be accompanied by numbness, muscle weakness, tingling, and a shooting or radiating pain in any of the extremities. If any of these symptoms accompany a patient’s back pain, immediate medical consultation is advised. Continual compression of spinal nerves can lead to permanent damage, which may include a loss of sensation. Experts at the Kraus Back and Neck Institute in Houston, TX, have significant experience treating thousands of patients suffering from the low back pain, leg pain and sciatica of herniated discs in the lumbar spine. Dr. Gary Kraus and Dr. Masaki Oishi take a very conservative approach to treating patients suffering from these disorders, and in most cases find that patients can be effectively treated, with significant pain reduction, without the need of an operation. Dr Kraus and Dr Oishi have extensive experience taking care of patients who have been in automobile injuries, truck injuries, or suffered other types of motor vehicle injuries.
Physical therapy in combination with anti-inflammatories and rest may significantly reduce the back pain associated with a herniated disc. A licensed medical professional will, through a specialized regimen of physical therapy, show patients new techniques that minimize the possibility of re-injury. In particular, torsional or lateral movement while lifting should be minimized, as these methods can significantly raise pressure within the spinal column, leading to an increased likelihood of a herniated disc.
For seriously herniated discs, surgical procedures may be necessary. Spinal fusion, a procedure in which the vertebrae are fused together, can eliminate the pain caused by worn intervertebral discs. Artificial discs are also an option—these discs can now match a natural disc in durability. Surgery should be considered only as a last resort, however. The costliness and lengthy rehabilitation periods during post-operative care for most spinal surgeries mean that physicians typically recommend surgery only after physical therapy, healthy dieting, exercise, and weight management have failed to improve a patient’s quality of life or lower levels of back pain.
The Kraus Back and Neck Institute in Houston, TX, treats and will review patients from Houston, Katy, Inner Loop, Memorial City, Galleria, the Woodlands, Sugar Land, Humble and Spring. Many patients may have been in automobile injuries or truck injuries. Patients are welcome to call the Kraus Back and Neck Institute. No films or other studies are needed. Appropriate imaging studies and other tests may be ordered if indicated and needed.
Keywords: herniated disc, physical therapy, back pain, spinal nerve, Houston, Galleria, Katy, the Woodlands, Spring, Humble, Memorial City, motor vehicle injury, truck injury