A disc tear is usually caused by a combination of disc degeneration and some type of trauma. It is commonly found in the neck or lower back. Twisting motions can put small tears in the annulus fibrosus, especially if they’re coupled with lifting a lot of weight or moving too suddenly. Similarly, individuals who have been in car accidents or unbroken falls may also suffer from annular tears. Vertebral discs lose their durability with age, and the weakened annular fibers can start to tear. Tears often occur from the inside of disc outward and may become progressively worse. Disc tears allow the gel-like fluid in the disc to leak, irritating spinal nerves, causing significant pain.
present as diffuse discomfort, numbness, tingling, into the arms or legs depending on the location of the tear. It is often difficult to alleviate the pain by changing positions, and annular tear pain can sometimes be worse when seated. Annular tears can lead to bulging or herniated discs. There are several non-surgical and surgical options that may be discussed with one of our pain management or spine specialists to address ongoing symptoms from this condition. conservative treatments include anti-inflammatory medication, steroid injections regular chiropractic treatments, and physical therapy. When conservative efforts fail, annular tears may be sealed off with a laser procedure to prevent any further injury. There are several minimally invasive procedures that may be considered for an annular tear before consideration for disc replacement or spinal fusion surgery.