The joints between each of the bones in the spine contain intervertebral discs, which cushion the spine and help it move properly. The intervertebral discs have a tough, fibrous outer layer and a gel-like inner layer. An extruded disc is a type of herniated disc in which the inner layer of the intervertebral disc pushes completely through a tear in the outer layer and enters the spinal canal.
Causes and Symptoms
The main symptom of extruded disc is back or neck pain. This pain can be worse when sitting than standing. The pain can worsen after coughing, sneezing, bending forward, or lifting. People with extruded discs may also experience numbness, tingling, or weakness in the arms and/or legs.
- Degeneration (breakdown) of intervertebral disc due to normal aging processes
- Traumatic injury, usually due to high-impact sports or motor vehicle accident
Diagnosis and Treatment
Your doctor will carry out a physical exam to try to determine the source of your pain. He is likely to order an MRI to be able to visualize the disc. Sometimes disc extrusions cannot be seen on MRI results. In this case, the doctor may carry out a discography, a procedure in which dye is injected into the intervertebral disc to determine if it is damaged.
Cold, then hot compresses