Herniated Discs

What is a Herniated Disc?

Discs are located between each vertebra in the spine, and they act as shock absorbers to protect the bones. A herniated disc, also known as a slipped disc, occurs when a fragment of the disc nucleus gets pushed out to the outer layer called the annulus. It can happen in any part of the spine but will often develop in the lower back and neck.

Herniated discs place pressure on your spine, which may result in:

  • Discomfort when walking short distances
  • Numbness in one part of the body
  • Pain that worsens at night
  • Tingling or burning sensations
  • Muscle weakness

Injury or strain may cause a disc to become herniated. Twisting or lifting heavy objects puts intense stress on your back. Discs will also naturally degrade over time, making them more vulnerable to certain motions. Having weak muscles or being less active may contribute to a slipped disc.

Research has shown that genetic predisposition can also be responsible for a herniated disc. Those with family members that have gotten slipped discs are more at risk. Other risk factors include:

What is a Herniated Disc?

Leaving a herniated disc untreated may result in long-term complications. It could cause sciatica and severe nerve damage. You may develop saddle anesthesia, which is when you lose sensation in your inner thighs and the back of your legs. In rare cases, a herniated disc can cause you to lose control of your bladder.

You must take steps to reduce the risk of getting a herniated disc. If you need to lift heavy objects frequently, be sure to use proper lifting techniques. Lift with your knees instead of your back. Some jobs may require sitting for long periods, so it is a good idea to stretch occasionally.

If you feel that you may have a herniated disc, you will need to see a doctor for a diagnosis. They will use image scans to view damaged areas. Scans include:

  • MRI scans
  • X-rays
  • CT scans
  • Discograms

While symptoms can improve, it does not mean that the disc has healed on its own. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication is used for initial treatment. An injection using a spinal needle may be performed to direct the medication to the disc. Your doctor may recommend physical therapy. You can also take over-the-counter pain medication to ease discomfort.

If symptoms do not respond to non-surgical treatment, you may need to see a pain specialist or orthopedic surgeon.

Find Out If A Pain Specialist Can Help with Your Herniated Disc Pain

The Pain Center in Boise and Caldwell, Idaho, specializes in treating back and neck pain. If you are suffering from a herniated disc, contact us today to schedule a consultation.


Our entire practice revolves around helping patients feel better. Pain is a fact of life, until it interferes with the joys of living. Sandra Thompson, MD and The Pain Center have innovative and comprehensive solutions to all forms of discomfort.

All insurances accepted.

Phone Number:

Boise Phone: (208) 342-9800
Boise Fax: (208) 342-4223
Caldwell Phone: (208) 342-9800
Caldwell Fax: (208) 455-5190


Email Us:



Boise: 633 N. 4th St. Boise, ID 83702
Caldwell: 1825 S Kimball Ave, Caldwell, ID 83605


Monday: 8am - 5pm
Tuesday: 8am - 5pm
Wednesday: 8am - 5pm
Thursday: 8am - 5pm
Friday: Closed


We are a group of pain management experts dedicated to helping patients live life better.



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Premier back pain treatments that will help reduce, relieve and improve your overall quality of life. Our goal is to provide the highest quality of service and results.



Boise Phone: (208) 342-9800

Boise Fax: (208) 342-4223

Caldwell Phone: (208) 455-3535

Caldwell Fax: (208) 455-5190

Our Locations:

  • Boise: 633 N. 4th St. Boise, ID 83702
  • Caldwell: 1825 S Kimball Ave, Caldwell, ID 83605