Herniated discs are a common cause of back or neck pain for every average adult. When left untreated, even the mildest herniated disc can cause chronic discomfort and a lessened quality of life. Dr. Michael Y. Mizhritisky, MD is the best trained back and neck doctor in NYC. As a Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation doctor, he specializes in the non-surgical correction of spinal issues, including herniated discs. Dr. Michael Y. Mizhiritsky, MD and his team of best in class physicians help multiple patients every day, correct their herniated disc symptoms and manage the pain that can accompany them. Using his specialized background in non-operative spine injuries and pain medicine, Dr. Michael Y. Mizhiritsky, MD helps his patients determine the most conservative and effective treatment plans to regain their overall well being. As a top rated back and neck physician in New York and abroad, Dr. Michael Y. Mizhiritsky, MD is sought out by international patients, athletes, and patients of all ages to address herniated disc related problems at our trusted and highly credentialed facilities on the Upper East Side , Midtown Manhattan, Englewood, NJ , and Hoboken, NJ. Patients with herniated discs often come in for routine physical therapy, injection therapy, and sports rehabilitation sessions. You will find that the NY Bone and Joint Specialists staff knows your name and are ready to make your visits as pleasant as possible. We are happy to handle all insurance work on your behalf and will make sure to schedule and remind you of all follow up appointments. Our patients often come to us through recommendations from loved ones, since we strive to earn the trust and appreciation of our patients as they heal.

HERNIATED DISC

Patients often think that back pain is just a part of getting older, or simply an unavoidable consequence of a previous injury or accident. The truth is that back pain should be thoroughly evaluated by a qualified and knowledgeable physician, like the top rated back and neck doctor, Dr. Michael Y. Mizhiritsky, MD, to avoid severe damage and debilitation down the road. Most people have heard the terms “herniated disc”, “pinched nerve”, or “bulging disc” but how many people actually know what is the condition behind these terms? Our guess, not many; in fact as many as 90% of Americans will suffer from back pain at least once in their life and only a fraction of these people ever seek diagnosis and treatment.

Herniated discs affect your spine, compromising the integrity of the intervertebral disc. Spinal discs are broken up into distinct areas; the most central portion (nucleus pulposus) and the outer fibrous ring (annulus fibrosus). When the nucleus pulposus is pushed outward (herniated) through the annulus fibrosus, a herniated disc is created.

While you might not notice a herniated disc at first, depending on the degree, over time the area can become extremely painful and start to interfere with your daily activities. A t times, a herniated disc can impinge on exiting nerve roots. This condition is called radiculopathy and is sometimes referred to as sciatica.

HERNIATED DISC SYMPTOMS

Associated symptoms of a herniated disc include:

  • Numbness and tingling to your extremities
  • Muscle weakness and fatigue
  • Pain radiation to your legs and buttocks (secondary to lower back disc herniation)
  • Pain radiation to your arms and shoulders (secondary to upper back disc herniation)

DIAGNOSIS

In order to properly diagnose a herniated disc your expert back and neck doctor, such as Dr. Michael Y. Mizhiritsky, MD at NY Bone and Joint Specialists, will need to perform a comprehensive physical exam. Included in your evaluation will be a detailed survey of your nerve sensation, muscle strength and assessment of your reflexes. Also, during this encounter your spine doctor will ask you a series of questions regarding your symptoms and any effects to your ability to do the activities you love. If your initial complaint includes lower back pain, your top rated physician will likely perform strength sensory tests and will check your reflexes at the knees and ankles. Then, the “straight leg raise test” is performed. This test, although simple in principal, can give your spine doctor a lot of information regarding your pain. If pain is elicited from this motion, the test is confirmed as positive and this tells your NY Bone and Joint physician that an impingement is present.

In addition to the inclusive physical exam your physician will likely order imaging and electrodiagnostic testing, in order to properly evaluate your condition. These modalities include:

  • X-ray – To evaluated for visible wear and tear on the spine, including vertebrae.
  • MRI – Excellent in evaluating soft tissue structures, including the spinal discs.
  • Electromyography(EMG) – A nerve and muscle test that isolates affected nerve roots and rules out other nerve and muscle diseases.

TREATMENT

The majority of patients with a herniated disc respond well to conservative treatments. When conservative care is not successful surgery may be considered to relieve pain and restore the ability to perform activities.

  • Conservative: Conservative treatments vary but all aim to reduce the pain and inflammation caused by the herniated disc on the surrounding nerves. Medications aimed at reducing inflammation such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatories (NSAIDs) are commonly prescribed for both acute and chronic sufferers. For pain associated with acute disc herniation medications such as narcotics, muscle relaxers or even oral steroids can be used to break the pain-inflammation cycle and bring you back to baseline. Although effective, caution should be used to prevent long-term use of narcotics, muscle relaxers and oral steroids since long-term use has its own documented consequence. As with any injury, rest is a vital part of recovery to prevent increasing your symptoms. An important adjunct to any treatment protocol is the addition of Physical Therapy. Your trained physical therapist will prepare specific protocols to initially minimize pain and later strengthen muscles.
  • Injections: Epidural steroidal injections are also a useful method in decreasing inflammation within the affected nerves. This type of injection requires a great deal of skill since the contents are injected directly into the compressed nerves. That is why it is important that only a trained and knowledgeable NY Bone and Joint Specialists interventional pain management physician perform such treatments. While the injection will not fix the underlying issue, the herniated disc impinging the spinal nerves, it can relieve pain and allow normal range of motion.

New York Bone and Joint Specialists’ doctors and are sympathetic to back pain sufferers. Our facilities are equipped to deal with a wide range of symptoms and conditions. Schedule your evaluation today with top NYC back and neck doctor, Michael Y. Mizhiritsky, MD or one his experienced associates.

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