Lumbar Herniated Disc Specialist

You may develop a herniated disc in your neck, but the problem more often affects your lower back. A lumbar disc herniation can cause severe low back pain and sciatica. When your symptoms persist despite medications and physical therapy, the interventional therapies provided by Todd Koppel, MD, at Garden State Pain Management can help. Dr. Koppel develops individualized treatment to alleviate your pain by targeting the precise source of the problem. To schedule an appointment, call the office in Clifton, New Jersey, or use the online booking feature.

What is a herniated disc?

The rubbery discs located between each vertebra of your spine are made from a tough outer layer that encloses a gel-like center. Their design allows the discs to absorb shock, promote smooth spinal movement, and maintain stability.

When the outer cover becomes weak or damaged, pressure from your spine pushes the inner material out through the weakened area. At first, the gel may create a protruding bulge that pushes against nearby nerves. Eventually, the disc ruptures, allowing the inner material to leak out, which irritates and inflames the surrounding nerves.


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What causes a herniated disc?

You can develop a herniated disc from an injury, repetitive activities that stress your spine, and from lifting a heavy object. However, the primary cause is age-related deterioration. Over time, discs dry out and the outer wall weakens. As the disc degenerates, it only takes a small amount of pressure to cause a herniation.

What symptoms develop due to a herniated disc?

Herniated discs most often occur in the lower or lumbar back, with only about 8% of all cases developing in the neck. Pain ranging from achy and dull to a sharp, electric-shock sensation is the primary symptom.

In addition to pain, you may experience numbness, tingling, or pain that radiates through your legs or arms, depending on the location of the herniated disc. In severe cases, leg or arm muscles may weaken or spinal instability may develop.

How is a herniated disc treated?

The first line of treatment includes medication and physical therapy, which relieves the pain and helps maintain movement while the herniated disc heals. If your symptoms persist, it’s time to consider interventional treatments such as:

Lumbar epidural steroid injection
Using X-ray guided imaging, Dr. Koppel injects steroids into the epidural space of the spine, which allows the medication to surround the disk and affected nerve, reducing inflammation, and alleviating the pain. A local anesthetic is usually added, which brings immediate pain relief, and confirms the medication reached the affected area.

Percutaneous disc decompression
Dr. Koppel uses a needle to introduce radiofrequency (RF) energy into the disc. The RF energy removes a small amount of the inner material, reduces pressure inside the disc, and helps the herniated portion heal.

Dekompressor discectomy
This is another minimally invasive procedure that relieves pressure as Dr. Koppel uses a small probe to remove material from inside the disc.

"Dr. Koppel was able to help resolve an over-training issue I've been dealing with for months. The doctor and his staff are welcoming and professional. I'd recommend them to anyone looking at non-surgical options for joint issues."

Trevor McKenzie

"After years of hip and leg pain, Dr. Koppel used PRP injections on both my hip and leg. The pain is now gone. Plasma rich protein is safe and effective. Dr. Koppel is an expert at getting to the root of the pain and eliminating it. I am eternally grateful to Dr. Koppel for his expertise and kindness."

Debbie Dolan

"Dr. Koppel is a very caring and compassionate Doctor. He is always available by phone for questions and concerns. The well-being of his patients is his top priority. I am feeling so much better from the treatment he did. I would highly recommend him"

Donald Leslie

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