Herniated Discs 2017-05-08T22:58:13+00:00

Herniated Discs

What is a herniated disc?

A herniated disc describes an issue with one of the rubber-like cushions (discs) between the vertebrae, or individual bones, that neatly stack to make what’s called your spine.

A spinal disc is somewhat like a jelly-filled donut, meaning it has a soft center enclosed by a tougher outside. It’s sometimes called a ruptured disc or a slipped disc and typically happens when a bit of the soft ‘jelly’ inside squeezes out through a tiny crack in the tougher outside. The condition can annoy other nerves nearby and lead to pain, weakness, or numbness in a leg or arm. On the other hand, a good number of people do not experience any symptoms at all and may be unaware there’s a problem at all.

Generally, the pain from a slipped disc occurs only on one side of the patient’s body.

  • You may experience pain when trying to move your neck, intense pain over or near your shoulder blade, or pain that travels to your upper arm, fingers, and forearm if you have a slipped disc in your neck. Some people experience numbness in their fingers, forearm, elbow, and along the shoulder.
  • You may experience acute pain in one area of the leg, buttocks, or hip as well as numbness in other areas if you’re suffering from a ruptured disc in the lower back.

The pain usually starts out slow, but may progress and get worse:

  • When walking just a few yards
  • When bending backward
  • At night
  • When laughing, coughing, or sneezing
  • After sitting or standing

In the case of a herniated disc, you could also experience weakness in some muscles. At times, you may notice you’re having a difficult time lifting your arm or leg, tightly squeezing one of your hands, trying to stand on your toes on just one side, or other issues.


Disc herniation is usually the result of a progressive, age-related wear and tear on the spine known as disc degeneration. As a person ages, the discs in the spine start to lose a bit of their water content, which makes them somewhat less flexible and also more prone to rupturing or tearing with even the slightest twist or strain.

Most individuals have a hard time identifying the exact cause of their slipped disc. Many times, using the back muscles rather than the thigh and leg muscles to lift heavy items can often lead to a slipped disc, as well as turning or twisting while lifting. A traumatic event like a blow to the back or a fall may also cause a ruptured disc, although it’s quite rare.

V. K. Puppala, M.D. serves patients throughout the Metro Atlanta, GA area and treats all his patients with great compassion, empathy, and respect and is genuinely interested in their overall well-being. Dr. Puppala takes a helpful approach by using a variety of minimally invasive interventional techniques with proper medication management and functional restoration. Call 770-627-7246 or 770-MAP-PAIN to set up an appointment with him in his practice in Villa Rica, Georgia.

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Call 770-627-7246 or 770-MAP-PAIN to schedule an appointment today with Dr. Puppala at his practice in Lithia Springs, Georgia.