The outer wall of a vertebral disc is known as annulus fibrosis. Comprised of layers of interwoven cells, this wall is usually strong. However, injury or degeneration caused by aging or normal wear and tear can weaken the wall resulting in a bulging disc or ruptured disc. This condition is known as an annular tear.
There are several types of annular tears, depending on location:
- Cervical annular tear occurs when a disc in the neck herniates
- Lumbar annular tear refers to a disc herniation in the lower back
- Small annular tear can occur around any disc.
Annular tears are also classified by type – radial, peripheral and concentric. Sometimes the condition occurs without producing any symptoms, including pain. Generally, the condition is accompanied by moderate to intense pain. Weakness, numbness or tingling are the most frequently reported symptoms.
Lumin PainCARE specialists will carefully diagnose your specific condition in order to determine the best course of treatment. Often, conservative approaches such as deep tissue massage, hydrotherapy, and moist heat and ice packs are used to help heal the damaged disc and relieve pain and discomfort. Anti-inflammatory steroidal injections may be prescribed. If these approaches do not produce the desired results, minimally invasive surgery may be recommended.