Crucial: the right treatment at the right time
Schoen Clinic specialises in the treatment of acute and chronic disc herniation (disc prolapse). Whether an exact diagnosis, conservative treatment or precise disc surgery – you benefit from the broad experience of our spine specialists.
The result? Satisfied patients who recommend us to others.
Herniated Disc Symptoms
Excessive strain leads to disc herniation
The spine has 23 discs between the vertebrae to prevent them from rubbing against each other and getting worn at every movement. They have a gel-like core and a hard fibrous coating and act like a gel cushion to buffer against pressure and impacts. With increasing age, the disc loses elasticity and becomes worn by many years of compression and impact forces. The gel-like core can protrude through small tears in the fibrous coating (disc protrusion) or bulge out through the fibrous ring (disc prolapse). This occurs most often in the lower back, which is subjected to more strain from sitting for long periods and heavy lifting.
Causes: What increases the risk of a herniated disc?
If you have a herniated disc, it is usually preceded by a longer history and several unfavourable factors have contributed to it:
- Genetic predisposition can promote disc herniation
- Stresses from work and everyday routine
- Poor posture
- Improper loading (incorrect lifting, one-sided strain)
- Excessive stress (too heavy lifting, sitting or standing too long)
- Too little exercise
- Unfavourable physical conditions eg overweight or weakness of the trunk muscles
Symptoms: Signs of a herniated disc
A herniated disc pressing against the nerves in the spinal canal causes severe pain and affects the function of the nerve over time. You feel abnormal sensations such as tingling or numbness extending to the fingers or feet. The surrounding muscles often cramp up to prevent painful movements. The symptoms vary depending on the location and severity of the herniated disc including:
- Piercing neck or back pain
- Pain, tingling or numbness in the arms and/or legs
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle stiffness
State-of-the-art technology and expertise
It is important to get the right treatment at the right time. Our experienced specialists and modern equipment are the best basis for this.
Searching for the cause of the pain
Pain perception, reflexes, numbness and muscular weakness usually indicate to your doctor where the herniated disc is located and what kind of pressure it exerts on the adjacent nerves and blood vessels. Further examinations and thorough discussions help clarify the causes. Imaging methods such as magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and digital x-rays and possibly computer tomography (CT) can give us an exact picture of the bone structure of your vertebrae, where exactly your herniated disc is, and how extensive it is. If the cause of your pain cannot be determined immediately, additional examinations are needed. In this case, a stepwise diagnostic procedure can help. We anaesthetise the painful area with targeted injections of pain medication. If the pain remains, we move to the next region. If the pain is relieved, we can gradually narrow down the area where pain arises and treat it with special medication.
Herniated Disc Treatment
Disc surgery – only if necessary
Only a few disc herniations require surgery. With immobilisation, pain medication, and our clinic’s comprehensive therapy and training programme, we can successfully treat more than 90% of our patients conservatively. If disc surgery does become necessary, you are in the best hands here. You will be treated by surgeons specialised in nerves and the spine, neurologists, specialised nurses and physiotherapists. Our specialists are some of the leading and internationally renowned experts in this field.
- Pain therapy (analgesic and anti-inflammatory medication)
- Physiotherapy Muscle training, specifically with body measurements in our clinic
- Heat therapy
Surgical treatment methods
Thanks to our experts’ experience, we can determine the exact time when disc surgery will be more promising than prolonged conservative treatment. So you can be confident that you will always receive the best treatment at the highest level. Our spine experts generally use minimally invasive procedures for discs. Our specialists can insert an operation microscope or endoscope (keyhole surgery) through tiny skin incisions to correct defects, remove a defective disc, insert synthetic implants or insert artificial discs. The advantage for you – very small wounds, minimal damage to muscles and tendons, the wound heals faster and we can discharge you sooner usually after just 2-3 days.
Free of pain
Whether removal of damaged disc tissue, the implantation of an artificial disc or fusion of adjacent vertebrae – our multi-disciplinary treatment team adapts the optimal treatment to your individual case. For surgical treatment, we also focus on pain therapy. We start special medication-supported therapy during surgery and continue through aftercare, so that you have as little pain as possible and can move freely.