Your spine is composed of a series of bones, or vertebrae, separated by spongy structures called discs (or disks). These discs act as shock absorbers and also help keep your spine flexible. Sometimes, a disc can slip out of place, often as a result of a traumatic or repetitive stress injury or sometimes due to obesity or a spinal disease. When the disc slips out of place, the vertebrae can press down on it, pinching it and causing it to become bulged or herniated. When pressure continues, the disc can begin to leak the gel-like liquid inside. This is called a ruptured disc. Herniated and ruptured discs can cause severe pain in the back, and they can also irritate nerves as they exit the spine, resulting in conditions that cause radiating pain, including sciatica.
Sciatica is a condition that develops when the sciatic nerve becomes irritated where it exits the spine in the lower back. Irritation can occur directly from the pressure exerted by a herniated disc, or indirectly either from inflammation associated with the herniated disc or from the fluid that leaks from a ruptured disc. The sciatic nerve travels down both legs, and sciatica can cause symptoms like pain, tingling and numbness that extends from the lower back through the buttocks and down one or both legs.
Herniated discs can be treated very effectively with injections to help reduce inflammation and pain right at the source, in the tissues surrounding the spine. They may also be managed with oral pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medicines, combined with rest. Performing gentle stretching and therapeutic exercises to help strengthen the back muscles can help prevent recurrence of herniated discs, as can losing excess weight, practicing good posture, and improving ergonomics at your workplace.
We take most PPO Insurance plans and Medicare, but we do not take Medi-Cal. Please contact us and we will let you know if we accept your type of medical insurance plan.
"Dr. Peck is fantastic. I've got a chronic back issue and he listens well, treats me like a person and provides options, treatments, and suggestions with sympathy."
"Dr. Peck is a great doctor. He listens and I don't fill rushed by him at all. This is a nice and clean office and would recommend it to anyone."
"Accurate and professional, his pain treatment and rehab expertise is outstanding."
"Very professional and personable. He really cares about his patients and it shows in his work."