Spinal discs are present between the spinal vertebrae and provide stability, a wide range of motion and shock absorption for the spine. Due to age-related wear and tear and other degenerative conditions, the spinal disc may start to lose strength and pliability, resulting in disc pain. Breakdown of the discs in the lumbar spine region will result in lower back pain, leg pain, numbness and weakness. Breakdown of the discs in the cervical spine region will result in neck, shoulder, and arm pain and stiffness.
A diagnosis of disc pain may be based on specific symptoms, a review of your medical history as well as a physical exam consisting of movement tests and reflex tests. Other diagnostic tests will include a CT scan, MRI scan, and a discogram.
Nonsurgical treatment options include specialized physiotherapy for the spine, massage therapy and epidural steroid injections. Surgical treatment options include microdiscectomy, spinal fusion and artificial disc replacement.