Herniated Discs and Low Back Pain


Low back pain is a common complaint of middle aged adults, and a herniated disc is frequently the cause. Spinal discs and spongy fluid-filled sacs located between your vertebra that serve to absorb shock during physical activity. When the outer tissue of a disc becomes torn, fluid can leak out, causing a ruptured or herniated disc.

Repetitive overuse, excessive sitting, poor posture and weak core muscles are often to blame for disc herniation. A ruptured disc can irritate nerves, causing pain and weakness in your low back, buttocks and legs.

New Research Offers Hope for Herniated Discs

When pain and irritation from a herniated disc begin to interfere with your daily life, surgery may seem promising as a quick solution. However, mounting clinical evidence favors non-invasive conservative treatment over surgery for resolving ruptured disc pain.

A recent Meta-Analysis of eleven separate studies by Zhong et al. (2017) found that herniated discs resolve themselves at least 66 percent of the time with conservative care. Even more surprising is that the worst herniated discs are the most likely to recover spontaneously. The research team concluded that conservative therapy promises to become the first line of treatment for herniated discs in the future.

Herniated Disc Treatment at NYDNR

The back pain specialists at NYDNR take a holistic approach to resolving herniated discs. We understand that there are multiple mechanism at play that lead to disc herniation, and we are dedicated to getting to the source of pain and correcting the root cause. Avoid drugs and surgery, and get back to feeling your best with NYDNR.


Ming Zhong, M. D., and Jin Tao Liu. “Incidence of spontaneous resorption of lumbar disc herniation: a meta-analysis.” Pain physician 20 (2017): E45-E52.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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