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Herniated Disc: Foot Numbness

Herniated Disc Foot Numbness

It’s not uncommon to experience back pain. Nearly 31,000,000 Americans feel lower back pain at any given time. The first step to treating back pain is understanding whether it’s temporary and if it could be caused by a herniated disc. One issue such as a herniated spine can lead to a range of symptoms. These could include a dull feeling in the back or severe numbness. Some cases can resolve themselves in a matter of weeks. However, if the pain does not go away, it can become severe. You may be wondering if your disc is herniated. Read these causes to find out if you are.

What is a Herniated Disc, and what does it mean?

The spine’s bones, also known as vertebrae, are cushioned with discs. These discs serve as shock absorbers and cushions for the spine. A herniated disc is caused by a fragment of disc nucleus (a gel-like substance which cushions the bone) being pushed out of disc’s outer layer into the spinal channel through a tear, rupture. This causes the disc to push on spinal nerves, causing intense pain. A herniated or bulging disc can cause intense pain in different people. For example, men are twice as likely than women to experience a herniated spine.

Surprisingly though, the most common symptoms associated with a herniated spine are pain in the arm and leg. If the herniated disc is located in the lower back area, the pain will be most severe in the buttocks/thigh and calf. If the herniated disc in the neck is present, arm and shoulder pain can be common. A herniated disc can cause pain in the leg or arm, but they are not always severe.

What causes a herniated disc?

The use and degeneration of spinal discs can cause herniated discs. They lose water over time and become dry and more susceptible to tears. Older people may experience disc ruptures if they lose some mobility. You can either have disc wear over years or you can experience a strain. If you lift heavy objects using your back, rather than your legs, you could end up with a herniated disc. This problem can be worsened by lifting while turning.

Traumatic accidents such as those that occur while biking or driving can lead to herniated discs. It is important that older Americans be cautious when falling on ice or stairs. Being overweight is more dangerous than being healthy. Extra weight can cause strain on your discs and pull on your lower back. Some jobs can lead to back problems. Back problems can occur in those who do physically demanding jobs such as construction and demolition. Back problems can develop later in life from lifting, pulling, pushing, bending and pushing in many directions.

Your family history of back issues could make you more vulnerable. Find out who is suffering from back problems in your family so you can start taking preventative steps. It is possible that your back problems could pass down as easily as your eyes. This profile may not suit you, but here are eight common symptoms to be aware of.

Leg Pain

People who have herniated discs may notice leg pain long before they feel back problems. Sometimes both can be present together with leg pain being the most severe. A doctor should be consulted if your sciatic nerve pain persists. Radiculopathy or sciatica may be the problem. You can have this problem diagnosed by your doctor.

Nerve issues

You may have nerve damage if you feel sharp pains in your back or legs. This can be debilitating and you might want to seek treatment as soon as possible. When the pains feel like an electrical tingling, or a piercing sharpness to your skin, it’s time to stop what you are doing and make an appointment with a specialist. For a few weeks, stop exercising if you are a regular exerciser.

Pain that Changes Places

It is possible to feel a sharpness in one part of your back, and another in the back of your thighs the next week. You should be aware of this symptom especially if it is only one side of your body. A specialist may be able to recommend a treatment if you feel the pain jumping around in your buttock, calf or down to your feet. It could be a herniated disc.

Neurological issues

Numbness in your feet and legs can be caused by herniated discs. Sciatica and herniated discs can cause you to feel numb or unable to think. This feeling can cause you to lose your ability to move normally. This can cause you to feel uncomfortable. Schedule an appointment to discuss your concerns.

Foot Drop

You’re not the only one who has never heard of foot fall. It’s a sign of herniation. Foot drop can be characterized by difficulty in lifting your foot when walking. This condition can also be characterized by difficulty standing on the balls of your feet.

Lower Back Pain

Strangely enough, the back pain that is experienced in cases of herniation doesn’t always exist. The pain in the lower back may feel like a dull, dull throb. This could cause stiffness or inflexibility, which can make it difficult to avoid pain.

Sometimes, alternating cold and hot packs can be helpful in relieving back pain. However, if you are experiencing muscle spasms and you work in a chair at work, you might need to recline in a supported recliner. Place a pillow under your knees and lay down on your back to relieve the pain.

Pain when you move

A herniated disc can cause some people to feel no pain when they’re sitting down or relaxed. After moving a few feet, however, the pain may become unbearable. Talk to a specialist immediately if you feel that a sneeze, or a sudden step causes pain. Unfortunately, some people experience intense pain when they laugh.

Slouching Can Cause Pain

People spend more time hunched at their computers than ever before, and this can lead to pain when they sit down to do work. You might have a herniated or bulging disc. Pay attention to whether bending at the waist causes leg pain. If possible, don’t slouch or lean forward while sitting.

Prevention can help you avoid a herniated disc

Herniation can be avoided by people who lead active lives. Your spine will be supported better if you strengthen your core, your trunk, and your body will stabilize better. Take note of how you stand and sit, just as you were taught as a child. Keep your back as straight as possible. You can lift anything by using your legs, but not your back.

Herniated Disc Symptoms in the Cervical Spine

Because the disc material is thinner and exerts less force on the cervical spine, a cervical herniated disc is less common that a lumbar herniated. Different levels can cause pain and other symptoms of herniated discs.

C5 nerve root impingement can be caused by a herniated disc in the cervical segment 4 and 5. Although patients may feel weakness in their upper arm deltoid muscles, they do not typically feel any numbness or tingling sensations. This level of cervical herniation can cause shoulder pain.

A herniated disc at cervical segment 5 or 6 (C5-C6) can cause C6 nerve root impingement. This level is where cervical herniated discs are most likely to occur. It can also cause weakness in the biceps, the muscles at the front of the upper arm, and the wrist extensors. It can radiate pain, numbness, and tingling to the thumb side.

A herniated cervical segment 6 and 7, also called C6-C7, causes C7 nerve roots impingement. It is another type of cervical herniated dis. It can result in weakness in the triceps and extensor muscles of fingers. It can cause tingling and numbness, along with pain, down the triceps to the middle and back of the fingers.

A herniated disc in the cervical segment 7 or thoracic segments 1 (C7–T1) can cause C8 nerve root impingement. This could cause weakness in gripping and pain when the hand is used for other tasks.

Is my misdiagnosis potentially a herniated disc?

Yes.

Misdiagnosed herniated discs are the leading cause of chronic neck and back pain. Herniated discs are often mistakenly misdiagnosed for piriformis, a muscular disorder of the buttocks or mild sciatica. Degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis are also common.

How long does it take for a herniated disc injury to cause pain?

Sometimes, herniated discs can cause no pain for people who don’t feel it. For those who feel pain, however, it will depend on how the disc presses on the nerve. Symptoms will usually improve or disappear after a few weeks. If you have persistent pain, surgery may be an option.

How can a herniated disc be diagnosed?

A doctor will usually conduct a physical exam to locate the source of the pain. A doctor may request further testing based on their findings. MRI is the most popular imaging option for this condition. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) produces 3-D images using powerful magnets, computer technology, and body structures.

An MRI can show the spinal cord and nerve roots as well as the surrounding areas. It also allows the doctor to spot any abnormalities in the spine. Open MRI machines have magnets placed above and below the patient. This creates a less claustrophobic environment than traditional MRIs. The main benefit is patient comfort throughout the procedure.

MAGNETOM Espree’s groundbreaking technology allows us to give our patients the space and comfort of an open MRI, but with the imaging power of a traditional closed unit.

What are my treatment options?

Your age and general health will determine the best treatment options for your herniated disc. Talk to your healthcare provider and develop a plan. Most times, the initial treatment isn’t surgical. Patients may be advised by doctors to refrain from strenuous activities for several weeks. This will reduce inflammation and pain in the spinal nerve.

For mild to moderate pain, nonsteroidal anti inflammatory medication is often prescribed. For short-term pain relief, doctors might recommend Epidural Steroid Injections. Many physical therapies such as gentle massage, pelvic tilt, gentle massage and ice therapy are recommended. If the pain is not controlled by conservative treatment, doctors might recommend surgery.

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Kevin Pauza, M.D.

SPECIALTY

  • Disc Biologics
  • Interventional Spine

EDUCATION & DEGREES

  • Fellowship: Interventional Spine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Residency: PM&R, University of Pennsylvania
  • Internship: Surgery & Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Medical Doctorate: Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
  • Bachelor of Arts: Biology, Lehigh University
  • Bachelor of Arts: Psychology, Lehigh University

CERTIFICATIONS & LICENSES

  • Texas State Medical and Surgical License
  • New York State Medical and Surgical License
  • Florida State Medical and Surgical License

HONORS

  • Lehigh University Four-year Academic Scholarship
  • Magna Cum Laude, Lehigh University
  • Lehigh University President’s Award
  • Lehigh University Tower Society
  • Distinguished Alumnus, Penn State University (selected from 500,000 Penn State alumni)
  • North American Spine Society, Outstanding Paper of the Year, 2003
  • President-Elect, International Spine Intervention Society
  • Founding Partner, Texas Spine and Joint Hospital
  • Commencement Speaker: Penn State University College of Medicine
  • Advisory Board, AMA
    Keynote Speaker, Harvard Pain Center Commencement
  • Founding Chairman, Standards Committee, International Spine Intervention Society
  • Chairman, Spine Committee, Amercian Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • Appointed Spine Advisor, Japanese Prime Minister
  • Appointed Spine Advisor, Allied Royal Families

EXPERIENCE

  • Founding Partner & Principal, Texas Spine & Joint Hospital

Travis Foxx, M.D. - Premier Anesthesiology & Pain

Kevin Pauza, M.D. - Turtle Creek Surgery Center

Prior to attending Penn State University, Dr. Pauza earned his undergraduate degree from Lehigh University, and furthered his training with a Surgical and Medical Internship at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. He continued his specialty training at the University of Pennsylvania, followed by an Interventional Spine Fellowship. In addition to his research, philanthropic, and clinical endeavors, Dr. Pauza remains a motivated educator. He established a Spine Fellowship program and continues training physicians from around the world. He heads international committees responsible for establishing standards and educating surgical and non-surgical physicians.

After helping hundreds of patients who failed to experience relief after spine surgery, it became evident to Dr. Pauza that current methods needed to change. This motivated him to seek better ways to help patients, by thinking outside the box.

Dr. Pauza is the first physician in history to pursue FDA approval for using biologics to treat the spine. Millions of patients will benefit from his development of minimally invasive treatments for degenerative disc disease and other more common and serious disorders of the spine.

SPECIALTY

  • Disc Biologics
  • Interventional Spine

EDUCATION & DEGREES

  • Fellowship: Interventional Spine, University of Pennsylvania
  • Residency: PM&R, University of Pennsylvania
  • Internship: Surgery & Medicine, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons
  • Medical Doctorate: Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine
  • Bachelor of Arts: Biology, Lehigh University
  • Bachelor of Arts: Psychology, Lehigh University

CERTIFICATIONS & LICENSES

  • Texas State Medical and Surgical License
  • New York State Medical and Surgical License
  • Florida State Medical and Surgical License

HONORS

  • Lehigh University Four-year Academic Scholarship
  • Magna Cum Laude, Lehigh University
  • Lehigh University President’s Award
  • Lehigh University Tower Society
  • Distinguished Alumnus, Penn State University (selected from 500,000 Penn State alumni)
  • North American Spine Society, Outstanding Paper of the Year, 2003
  • President-Elect, International Spine Intervention Society
  • Founding Partner, Texas Spine and Joint Hospital
  • Commencement Speaker: Penn State University College of Medicine
  • Advisory Board, AMA
    Keynote Speaker, Harvard Pain Center Commencement
  • Founding Chairman, Standards Committee, International Spine Intervention Society
  • Chairman, Spine Committee, Amercian Academy of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
  • Appointed Spine Advisor, Japanese Prime Minister
  • Appointed Spine Advisor, Allied Royal Families

EXPERIENCE

  • Founding Partner & Principal, Texas Spine & Joint Hospital

Brandon Tolman, D.O. - Nashville Spine Institute

Boris Terebuh, M.D. - Regenerative Spine & Joint Center

Boris Terebuh, MD specializes in providing personalized nonsurgical solutions for spine problems that interfere with the function patients desire and the independence they deserve. Dr. Terebuh completed his Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation residency training at The Ohio State University in 1997 and has been in solo practice in Ohio since 2001 because he is committed to providing accessible, individualized and attentive care to his patients. His regenerative approach to solving spine problems enhances the body’s natural ability to heal itself. His guiding principle is integrity – doing what is right for patients in a conscientious manner with the motivation of helping them become fully functional, independent and satisfied. Dr. Terebuh is a very unique Medical Doctor because he has earned seven Board Certifications in the field of musculoskeletal medicine and nonsurgical spine care. Boris Terebuh, MD is delighted to be a Discseel® provider because this revolutionary new technology aligns perfectly with his preferred regenerative treatment approach and patient care philosophy. Dr. Terebuh is also grateful to Discseel® developer, Kevin Pauza, MD, for all the years of diligent and meticulous research to create this innovative, paradigm-shifting intervention, which will certainly spare countless individuals the prospect of avoidable spine surgical procedures.

Thierry Bonnabesse, M.D. - Champlain Spine and Pain Management

Gregory Lutz, M.D. - Regenerative Sportscare Institute

Dr. Gregory Lutz is the Founder and Medical Director of the Regenerative SportsCare Institute (RSI). In addition, he currently serves as Physiatrist-In-Chief Emeritus at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) and a Professor of Clinical Rehabilitation Medicine at Weill Medical College of Cornell University. Dr. Lutz is one of the world’s leading experts in the field of regenerative interventional orthopedic medicine, appearing annually on Castle Connolly’s and New York Magazine’s “Top Doctors” lists.

Janet Pearl, M.D. - The Boston Stem Cell Center

Dr. Janet Pearl has been in practice since 1999 and is the Medical Director of The Boston Stem Cell Center. She is also the Medical Director of  Complete Spine and Pain Care  an interventional integrated Pain Management practice, both located in Framingham, Massachusetts. Dr. Pearl is Triple Board Certified in Regenerative Medicine, Pain Medicine and Anesthesiology and has over 20 years experience in doing these procedures.

Previously, Dr. Pearl was the Co-Director of the Pain Management Center at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center, where she was also the Director of the Pain Management Fellowship program.

After graduating from Harvard College with an A.B. in Applied Mathematics with Economics, Dr. Pearl received a M.Sc. in Health Planning and Financing at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. She then received her M.D. from the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons, where she represented the Medical School as a senator in the Columbia University Senate.

Watch Dr Pearl give an introduction to The Boston Stem Cell Center

Dr. Pearl completed her internship in Internal Medicine at New England Deaconess Hospital, her residency in Anesthesiology at the Massachusetts General Hospital, and her fellowship in Pain Management at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Dr. Pearl was the first resident ever to serve on the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME)’s Residency Review Committee for Anesthesiology. She is a Joseph Collins Scholar and a Rotary Scholar and was awarded the AMA/Glaxo Welcome and AMA/Burroughs Welcome Resident Leadership Awards.

From 2004 to 2010, Dr. Pearl served on the University of Massachusetts Board of Trustees. While there she chaired the Committee on Science, Technology and Research, was a member of the Committee on Academic and Student Affairs and the Governance Committee and also served as Vice Chair of the Advancement Committee, and as a member of the Committee on Athletics.

Dr. Pearl is Board Certified in Regenerative Medicine, Pain Medicine and Anesthesiology with the American Board of Regenerative Medicine and the American Board of Anesthesiologists.

Memberships:

  • The American Pain Society;
  • The Massachusetts Medical Society;
  • The Massachusetts Society of Anesthesiologists;
  • The Massachusetts Society of Interventional Pain Physicians;
  • The American Society of Anesthesiologists;
  • The American Society of International Pain Physicians;
  • The American Institute of Ultrasound in Medicine; and,
  • The American Board of Regenerative Medicine.

PUBLIC SERVICE:

  • Member, Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents, Health Care Services Board 
  • Member of the Association of Harvard College Class Secretaries and Treasurers
  • Past Member of the Board of Directors of the Harvard Alumni Association
  • Former Member of the Board of Trustees University of Massachusetts. (10/2010 – 10/2014) 

Mark Reecer, M.D. - Fort Wayne Physical Medicine

Dr. Mark Reecer is board certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Pain Management. He has over 20 years of work comp experience, and he routinely provides Independent Medical Examinations (IMEs) for the Indiana Workers’ Compensation Board. Dr. Reecer has lectured extensively and has authored multiple publications that promote his specialty and the use of treatment modalities to eliminate pain, improve function and avoid surgery.

Dmitry Buyanov, M.D. - IV Infusion Treatment Center

Dr. Buyanov is originally from Kiev, Ukraine. He received his training in Anesthesiology and his Interventional Pain Management Post-Doctoral at Penn State Medical Center, PA. Dr. Buyanov moved to San Antonio in 2003 at which time he was part of a multi-specialty group before he founded Premier Pain Consultants in 2004. His practice has over 5000 active patients in his practice. Dr. Buyanov treats his patients in a cost-effective manner although giving them the best care with interventional pain treatments/procedure to help each patient improve their quality of life. Dr. Buyanov strongly believes in an individualized and multidisciplinary approach to pain management, he believes in the Buddhist saying: “pain is inevitable but suffering is optional”. He works closely with the area internists, physical therapists, chiropractors, psychiatrists, neurologists, and spine surgeons to insure that each patient has the most optimal individualized treatment plan. Dr. Buyanov enjoys spending his spare time with his children.

Desmond Hussey, M.D. - NASA Neuroscience and Spine Associates. P.L

Dr. Hussey earned his undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, and proceeded to earn his Medical Degree from The University of Miami School of Medicine. He then attended Northwestern University Internal Medicine Program, followed by a Neurology Residency Program at Emory University. Dr. Hussey continued his specialty training at John Hopkins University pain clinic. A member of The Spinal Injection Society and The American Academy of Neurology and Psychiatry.

Haley Burke, M.D. - Mile High Sports and Rehab

Dr. Burke is board-certified in both Interventional Pain Management and Neurology and has completed an accredited Pain Fellowship with the Department of Anesthesiology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals. Dr. Burke completed her residency in Neurology at the University of Colorado, where she received the department’s ‘Excellence in Teaching’ award during her year as Chief Resident. Her Doctor of Medicine degree was completed at the University of Texas Health Science Center, where she was elected to the ‘Gold Humanism Honor Society.’

Maxim Moradian, M.D. - Interventional Spine Care & Orthopedic Regenerative Experts

Dr. Moradian is triple-board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), Sports Medicine and Pain Management. Dr. Moradian’s clinical practice is devoted to the comprehensive care of spine, joint, muscle, tendon, ligament, and peripheral nerve disorders. He is proficient in performing advanced, minimally-invasive procedures under fluoroscopic and/or ultrasound guidance in the entire spine. Dr. Moradian performs electrodiagnostic testing (EMG/NCS) for the accurate diagnosis of muscle and/or nerve disorders. He has a special interest in regenerative medicine, sports concussions, neuromuscular ultrasound, medical education, and clinical research. His true passion is to treat his patients like his family and friends.

Wendi Lundquist, D.O. - Active Life Physical Medicine & Pain Center

Dr. Lundquist is the Medical Director and founder of Active Life Physical Medicine & Pain Center, Innovative Surgery Center, and Regena Spa. She is dual board certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation along with Pain Management and a diplomat with the American Board of Pain Medicine. She completed her training at Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois in July of 2005. During her time there, she served as Chief Resident and was involved in several research projects. Prior to, she completed medical school at Midwestern University at the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine campus in Glendale, Arizona and internship at Doctors Hospital in Massillon, Ohio. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Biology and minor in Chemistry from the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. She has a special interest in sports medicine, pain and spine. With 17 years experience, she has great enthusiasm towards regenerative medicine.

Yasuyuki Nonaka, M.D. - Nonaka Lumbago Clinic

Haley Burke, M.D. - Colorado Rehabilitation & Occupational Medicine

Dr. Burke is board-certified in both Interventional Pain Management and Neurology and has completed an accredited Pain Fellowship with the Department of Anesthesiology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals. Dr. Burke completed her residency in Neurology at the University of Colorado, where she received the department’s ‘Excellence in Teaching’ award during her year as Chief Resident. Her Doctor of Medicine degree was completed at the University of Texas Health Science Center, where she was elected to the ‘Gold Humanism Honor Society.’

Haley Burke, M.D. - Colorado Rehabilitation & Occupational Medicine

Dr. Burke is board-certified in both Interventional Pain Management and Neurology and has completed an accredited Pain Fellowship with the Department of Anesthesiology at MD Anderson Cancer Center, one of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals. Dr. Burke completed her residency in Neurology at the University of Colorado, where she received the department’s ‘Excellence in Teaching’ award during her year as Chief Resident. Her Doctor of Medicine degree was completed at the University of Texas Health Science Center, where she was elected to the ‘Gold Humanism Honor Society.’

Matthias H. Wiederholz, M.D. - Performance Pain and Sports Medicine

Founding Partner, Triple Board Certified – Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; Sports Medicine; Anti-Aging, Regenerative & Functional Medicine

Dr. Matthias H. Wiederholz is cofounder of Performance Spine & Sports Medicine, LLC. He is a fellowship-trained interventional pain physician whose clinical interests include: Interventional Pain Management, Sports Medicine, Musculoskeletal Medicine, Minimally-Invasive Spine Surgery, Non-Surgical Orthopedics, and Anti-Aging / Functional Medicine.

He received his specialty training in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas where he served as chief resident. He completed fellowship training in Interventional Pain Management in Marietta, Georgia. He is board-certified in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation and Sports Medicine. He also received advanced fellowship training through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine and is board-certified in Anti-Aging, Regenerative & Functional Medicine.

Dr. Wiederholz performs a myriad of interventional pain procedures including, but not limited to the following: epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections, radiofrequency ablation, sacroiliac joint injections, discography, percutaneous disc decompression, epidural lysis of adhesions spinal cord stimulator implants, and minimally-invasive discectomies. Endoscopic spine surgery is a very unique and valuable tool in his armamentarium and makes Dr. Wiederholz one of the most specialized physicians in the field of Pain Medicine.

Dr. Wiederholz uses musculoskeletal ultrasound in the diagnosis of musculoskeletal injuries. He incorporates ultrasound for precise injection therapy including cortisone injections, prolotherapy, and PRP (platelet rich plasma). This technology is also utilized to perform the Tenex procedure, a percutaneous procedure for treating chronic tendon pain (tennis elbow, rotator cuff, plantar fasciitis, etc).

Dr. Wiederholz is the fellowship director for the sports and spine fellowship at Performance Spine & Sports Medicine. Dr. Wiederholz holds an affiliation with Capital Health System and JFK Johnson Rehabilitation Institute.

Being advanced fellowship trained in Anti-Aging, Regenerative & Functional Medicine means that Dr. Wiederholz has the most advanced training in Anti-Aging Medicine available. He is a leading expert in Bio-Identical Hormone Restoration and helps patients achieve wellness through nutrition, lifestyle, and hormone therapies.

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Michael Wolff, M.D. - Southwest Spine & Sports