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Herniated Disc Specialist

Patrick F. Doherty, MD -  - Neurosurgeon

Yale Neurosurgery New London

Patrick F. Doherty, MD

Neurosurgeon located in New London, CT

Whether you call it bulged, slipped, ruptured, or herniated, problems with any disc along your spine can leave you in pain. That’s why Patrick Doherty, MD, offers dedicated treatment for herniated discs at Yale Neurosurgery New London. At his office in New London, Connecticut, he and his team help patients find effective pain relief and improved spinal health. If you think you might have a herniated disc, call the office or request an appointment online today.

Herniated Disc Q & A

What are spinal discs?

To understand herniated discs, it’s first helpful to understand the discs themselves. Your spine consists of a series of 33 interlocking bones called vertebrae. These vertebrae extend from your low back up to the base of your skull. 

There is a disc between each vertebra to prevent these bones from grinding against one another as you move your back and neck. This disc acts as a cushion and shock absorber, allowing you to move your spine with a wide range of motion without any problems. 

What is a herniated disc?

Each disc along your spine is made up of two parts: a tough outer layer called the annulus and a soft, jelly-like nucleus. In a healthy disc, the annulus protects the nucleus. But sometimes, the annulus can rupture. This allows the nucleus to push through the opening. In most cases, it pushes through into your spinal canal, putting pressure on the pain-sensing nerves along your spine. 

This disc problem goes by many names. It can be called a herniated disc, a bulging disc, a slipped disc, or a ruptured disc. But whatever you call it, it is almost sure to cause pain and discomfort. 

Herniated discs can occur anywhere along your spine, meaning they can cause pain in any location from your lower back to your neck. 

How is a herniated disc treated?

In many cases, a herniated disc will resolve itself if given proper time to heal. If you’re experiencing pain anywhere along your spine, it’s important to rest for at least a few days. Minimize activity that worsens your pain. If walking doesn’t bother your spine, walk periodically. You can also take ibuprofen to minimize your pain. 

If your pain hasn’t lessened within a week, contact Yale Neurosurgery New London. Dr. Doherty and his team of spine care experts are available to work with you to find pain relief. They first explore noninvasive and minimally invasive treatments with you. If those don’t resolve your pain, Dr. Doherty offers robotic surgery to remove the portion of your disc that’s causing you pain. 

With proper care, your herniated disc doesn’t have to cause you ongoing pain. To learn more about your disc treatment options, call Yale Neurosurgery New London or request your visit online today.