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Herniated Disks

herniated-disksHerniated disks in the spine can result from injury to the neck or cervical area, or mid to low back, caused by an accident or automobile collision. The spine is comprised of thirty-three vertebrae that are positioned from the top of the neck to the bottom of the spine, and include cervical, thoracic and lumbar vertebrae. Disks are located between each vertebrae and cushion the spinal column and allow for some slight movement between vertebrae. The disks or spinal cushions, are comprised of collagen fibers and water which form a cushy, gelatinous-like material. They are sometimes called the “shock absorbers” of the spine. As a result of injury sustained in accidents or automobile collisions, the disks can tear or rupture and then herniate. This irritates spinal nerves and may cause pain to the neck, low back, buttocks and thighs. The pain and disability may be effectively treated with conservative measures such as physical therapy, injections, anti-inflammatories, muscle relaxers, exercise, etc., but it may worsen and ultimately require spine surgery. Surgery would be used to decompress a nerve root, fuse and stabilize a painful and unstable joint, and reduce deformity such as scoliosis. It is used as a last resort when conservative measures fail, and there is the presence of either significant motor deficits or chronic or recurrent pain.

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