Treating Disc Displacement in Scottsdale

Back pain is a very common injury experienced by many people in Scottsdale each year. The exact cause of the pain can vary greatly. One of the most common causes of back pain is called disc displacement and radiculopathy (or pinched nerve). You might be one of the unfortunate people suffering from disc displacement in Scottsdale.

As you might be aware, back pain can be a nightmare. It can last a very long time. If you are unfortunately dealing with chronic back pain, you know firsthand the difficulties and challenges it creates. It can be extremely hard to find relief.

Disc displacement occurs when the soft disc that lies between the vertebrae of your spine is pushed out of place. If you look at the center of the spinal disc, you will notice a nucleus. The nucleus contains a jelly-like material that provides a cushioning effect to protect the vertebrate. It also helps your vertebrae stay stacked. As you age, these discs can rupture and degenerate. The ability for your vertebrae to stay straight and rely on the cushioning of the nucleus will be hindered. When the jelly-like substance gets displaced from the weakened area of your spine, you will then feel the pressure and irritation from the nerves of the cord. The pressure and irritation can then lead to pain and numbness in your arm or leg.

The area of the spine where disc displacement most often occurs is in your lumbar spine. This is the area of your lower back. It can also happen in your neck or cervical spine. When you suffer from disc displacement in Scottsdale and subsequently radiculopathy (pinched nerve) can often cause chronic and excruciating back pain that requires treatment from a pain management specialist. Fortunately, the pain caused by disc displacement and radiculopathy can often be treated with a proper exam and plan.

What is Disc Bulge?

Another serious disc displacement issue is called a disc bulge. Again, as we age the vertebrae where the jelly-like substance is tends to dry out. The nucleus shrinks and your disc will lose its height. Now, the walls of the disc will stay the same length, thus causing the “bulge” when the disc loses height and the vertebrae approach each other. These “disc bulges” are often seen on MRI and do not produce pain. When there is a disc bulge, the walls of the disc are normal.

What is Disc Protrusion / Herniation?

Disc protrusion or herniation will occur if part of the nucleus shoots through the wall of the disc. The nuclear material can cause irritation and inflammation of the nerves that are nearby. This nerve irritation causes pain to be produced in your upper limb, torso, or lower limb, depending on what nerves are inflamed. Walls become extremely weakened when the disc protrudes or herniates. When there is a disc protrusion or herniation, the wall of the disc is weakened. The disc abnormalities are also readily seen on MRI.

Are there Disc Displacement Treatments?

Yes! The great news is that your disc displacement in Scottsdale can be treated. There are many ways to approach your treatment options. All treatments will depend on the cause and location of your injury.

When you suffer from a disc bulge, simple stretching exercises and physical therapy may provide you relief. If you have tried this with no luck, there are other options, such as physical traction, injections, radio-frequency ablation, or a combination of these treatments may be necessary to relieve the amount of pain you are experiencing. When we approach pain management at Summa Pain Care in Scottsdale, we strive to reduce or completely eliminate the amount of pain medications you are taking.

If you have disc protrusion or nerve irritation, the nerve can be affected and not work as well as you would like. This can lead to weakness or numbness. Generally, steroids by mouth or by injection are used to reduce symptoms if the pain is severe enough. You can even try pain medications and NSAIDs like ibuprofen or naproxen, or other agents can be used for various symptoms. The goal is to provide a great physical therapy routine to reduce or completely eliminate medications. Physical therapy exercises and modalities can be started after the pain has eased.


The evaluation of your pain needs to answer questions usually ignored: Why? Why was there a protrusion on one side and not the other? Why was there a protrusion at one level and not another? The answers to these questions are critically important to prevent recurrence and chronic pain. Only then can we assess how to further prevent the type of pain you are experiencing. Once you receive a proper exam for disc displacement in Scottsdale, only then can the real treatment begin.

Final Thoughts

Treating disc displacement in Scottsdale should always begin with a consultation. The pain needs to be assessed so that the proper treatment plan can begin. A pain management doctor at Summa Pain Care can help determine the best course of treatment for your condition. For more information about disc displacement and other painful conditions, or to learn more about the courses of treatment available at Summa Pain Care, call (623)776-8686 today.

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