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Long Term Prognosis and Effects of Neck and Back Herniated Disc

Neck and Back Herniated Disc

It can be very difficult to deal with the pain of an injured or herniated disc. If the disc doesn’t seem to heal, it can be very difficult to believe in its healing. You might be wondering if the disc can ever heal. Learn more about the prognosis and long-term effects of a herniated disc. Even though it is rare, untreated herniated spines can have severe long-term effects. They can lead to permanent nerve damage. You should seek treatment for herniated or bulging discs.

Can A Herniated Disc Cause Permanent Nerve Damage

Sometimes symptoms of a herniated spine are not apparent. It is possible for disc herniations to not press on a nerve. This is what causes herniated disc pain. Sometimes herniated discs that have no symptoms heal quickly. Sometimes symptoms develop later. This is an important point to keep in mind: if your back hurts, it could be a sign of something else.

A herniated disc is dangerous if it is not treated and allowed to press on the nerve. The nerves are only capable of withstanding stress for so long before they begin to suffer damage. Herniated discs need to be treated immediately in order to get the best results.

Long-Term effects of a Herniated Disc at the Back

Low back is where a herniated or bulging disc most often occurs. This area is also known as the lumbar spine. It tends to be overused. Disc herniation can be caused by poor posture, improper lifting, insufficient workspace ergonomics, injury, constant sitting, and poor posture.

A herniated disc can make it difficult for people to fall asleep . This is because the body needs to rest to heal. The long-term effects of a herniated disc in the back aren’t good. A herniated disc in your back can lead to chronic pain if it is not treated. Permanent nerve damage can result if the problem isn’t treated. Chronic pain is the most common outcome, but nerve damage should not to be ignored.

Patients with herniated discs in their backs that are not treated may have difficulty performing everyday tasks. In these cases, they might turn to dangerous opioids and other painkillers for help. This does not actually treat the disc. It just masks it.

The majority of herniated discs in the back can be treated without any surgery. Chiropractic care is a good option for treating herniated back discs. It is the best conservative option and should be considered before considering surgery.

Long-Term Effects of a Herniated Disc In the Neck

Long-term effects of a herniated neck disc are often the same as those associated with a disc in the back. But there are key differences that you should know. Chronic pain isn’t just a problem in the neck. Pain in the arms and shoulders can be caused by irritations of the nerves in the neck. It can also cause pain in the shoulders and arms that if left untreated can make it impossible to exercise without suffering debilitating symptoms.

If you have a herniated disc in your neck, it is important to get professional help as soon as possible. Chiropractic is best to treat most herniated discs throughout the spine.

Time for Herniated Disc Recovery

The recovery time for a herniated spine depends on many factors. These are:

  • The severity of the herniation.
  • The location of herniation.
  • Any other causes that could have contributed to the herniation.
  • The overall health of the patient.
  • The lifestyle and demands of the patient.
  • The preferred method of treatment.

For some, the pain is gone within days. Others may need to wait several months before the herniation and associated symptoms completely disappear. Most people find that it takes around a month for their normal life to return to normal. If you follow the proper protocols, the average recovery time is between four and six weeks.

Recovery Options for Herniated Discs

As stated above, it is important to exhaust all possible options before considering surgery. The main concern with a herniated spine is pain management. The success rate of chiropractic treatment for herniated discs has been high. Chiropractic care focuses on pain management and treating the root cause of disc herniation.

Chiropractic Care for Herniated Disc

After reviewing your medical history, chiropractors examine the spine and decide if you are a candidate for chiropractic treatment. Most herniated discs are treated with a combination of manual therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and physical therapy exercises.

The goal is to relieve pain and treat the source of the herniation. Chiropractors often use flexion distraction to do this. This can be done by using a special machine that lengthens and relieves pressure on the disc and nerve.

Chiropractic care can relieve pain by using massage, hot and cold therapies, and even suggesting exercises to increase endorphins. They can also help correct poor posture and lifestyle habits that may have contributed towards the herniated disc.

What to do if your herniated disc continues to hurt after one year?

The problem with a herniated disc is that it can be difficult to pinpoint exactly when the pain will return. However, if you are still experiencing pain after one year and have not sought treatment, it is time for a professional.

You should see a physician if you have persistent pain for more than six weeks. Allowing the pain to continue for over a year is dangerous. There are non-surgical options that can be used even after you’ve suffered with intermittent herniated disc pain for over a year.

A chiropractor should be consulted if you still feel pain after a year. Sometimes the pain you think is from a herniated disc is something entirely. Chiropractic patients may notice improvements within as little as two sessions.

What Happens if a Herniated Disc is Left Untreated?

Many people have back pain and hope it will go away. Or, they try home remedies to temporarily relieve the pain but then it starts again. While back pain may be an indication of something benign, such as being in an uncomfortable position for a prolonged time, it could also indicate something more serious.

Sometimes back pain is a sign that you’re allowing a serious condition like a herniated spine to go untreated. There are still options available for disc herniations that have not been treated. These are some signs you might want to see a spine specialist for treatment.

Increased Pain

Sometimes a herniated disc from a sudden injury can be considered a hidden condition because it might take your body a while to feel the pain. You might expect a sore lower back to disappear after a quick impact or jolting from the body in a collision. A spine specialist should be consulted if the pain persists, particularly if it is located in a particular area of your spine.

The sponge-like cushion between the vertebrae that divides a herniated disc can become loose and could cause bone to rub against bone. Because the discs don’t align with the vertebrae it is supposed to protect, pain can result from many movements. The disc is no longer able to absorb shock.

New Areas of Pain

You may find that your back pain is a symptom or a result of a herniated spine. The pain may then radiate to other areas after a few days. A herniated disc may be pressing against a nerve causing a tingling, or numbing sensation at one of your extremities. The affected muscles might also feel weak or fatigued. The lower back is a common area for herniated discs. If untreated, they can affect the nerve signals and muscles to the legs, feet, and lower body.

Chronic Pain

If your back has been hurting for several weeks, or even months, it could be a result of an untreated injury such as a herniated spine. You may notice more severe side effects than the pain, and complications can develop if the injury is not treated. A herniated disc can cause acute pain, which can lead to chronic pain. Chronic pain can become a second condition and require treatment.

Soft Tissue Damage

Because the disc itself is soft tissue, herniated discs can result in soft tissue injuries. If the disc becomes loose, a spine specialist will be able to realign it. In the event of a disc rupture, however, the disc cannot regenerate itself and is considered to have damaged soft tissues. The severity of the injury may dictate that a herniated disc will need to be surgically treated in order to restore normal function.

Nerve Injury

Nerve damage can also be caused by a herniated spine. The nervous system communicates with the rest of the body via a complex network of nerves. Nerve damage can result from damage to the spine or connective tissue. If a herniated disc puts pressure on a nerve it can cause severe damage, cutting off nerve impulses. 

A compressed nerve can cause significant problems, such as loss or control of the bowel and sensation in the lower extremities. A herniated disc can be treated quickly by a spine specialist. Your doctor will first want to see the affected area using a variety of diagnostic imaging tools, such as CT scans and X-rays. An Xray will allow your spine specialist to better understand any spinal damage. A CT scan will also identify soft tissue damage.

A spine specialist should be contacted immediately if your back pain has begun to radiate into your lower body, legs, and feet or out into your shoulders, arms and hands. Your doctor may choose to start with more conservative treatments depending on the extent and location of your herniated disc. These can include at-home treatment or gentle treatment from a chiropractor, spine specialist, physical therapist, and/or chiropractor. AICA Orthopedics will help you to identify the source of your back pain.

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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. - Colorado Rehabilitation and 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.’

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