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Understanding Intervertebral Disc Disorders

Understanding Intervertebral Disc Disorders

Disc disorders or injuries can have multiple meanings including annular tear, disc bulge and disc herniation/protrusion. But what exactly do these terms mean and how do the discs become injured? To understand, it is helpful to have a basic understanding of spinal anatomy.

The spinal column is made of 24 bones called vertebrae and a disc between each. The vertebrae function as protection for the spinal cord and the discs function as shock absorbers for the spine. Discs are comprised of an outer protective layer called the annulus fibrosis and a softer, gelatinous inside component known as the nucleus pulposus. With time, trauma, genetics and/or a sedentary lifestyle, the discs tend to dehydrate and become more prone to injury to the outside layer, the inside material or both.

When only the outside layer is damaged but the nucleus pulposus inside remains intact, it is called an annular tear.

Disc Disorders

A disc bulge is when a weakened disc loses its height and swells to become wider which makes it easier to put pressure on the nearby spinal nerves.

A disc protrusion which is also known as a disc herniation, slipped disc or ruptured disc, is when the nucleus pulposus leaks out of the inside of the disc. It usually goes to one side or the other, and can make contact with the spinal nerves causing pain, numbness or tingling in the spine and/or down the arms and legs.

Being diagnosed with a disc herniation scares most people and makes many of them immediately wonder if they will need surgery, be permanently impaired or be in pain for the rest of their lives.

While some disc injuries can be very serious and require immediate intervention, it is not always the case. In fact, many people who have never had any kind of trauma live with disc bulges and disc herniations with either no pain or mild sporadic pain. The situation varies from person to person, so there is no one size fits all treatment option.

At Absolute Injury & Pain Physicians, we are equipped to treat our patients with a variety of options from physiotherapy, manual adjustments, decompression therapy, trigger point injections and epidural steroid injections.

If you think you or someone you know may be suffering from spinal disc pain, give us a call today!

Dr. Allamm Morales, M.D.

Dr. Allamm Morales has over 15 years experience in personal injury and a wide range of neurological disorders. He has privilege, and provides patient care in local Baptist hospitals.

He was Chief Resident at the Neurology Residency Program of the University of South Florida, and worked at the Florida Hospital of New Smyrna, and St. Luke Hospital in Ponce, Puerto Rico. He also served many years with the Florida Neurology Institute, Inc.

Dr. Morales is a Diplomate of the American Board of Vascular Neurology, and a Diplomate of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology.

Dr. Morales studied in Nova Southeastern University, Davie, FL, had residency at the Caibarien General Hospital, Cuba, and obtained the MD degree at the Superior Institute of Medical Science in Cuba.

Fiaz Jaleel, M.D.
Physical Medicine & Rehab, Pain Management

“Life is short and precious. As a Physiatrist and Pain Physician my goal for my patients is to reduce their pain and suffering, enhance form, improve function and ultimately promote the best quality of life for that individual.”

Dr. Fiaz Jaleel graduated from the University of The West Indies in 1987. He completed a two year internship at Port of Spain General Hospital in Trinidad and Tobago. He completed his internship in Internal Medicine at St. Francis Hospital in Evanston, IL and went on to do a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis , MO. In 2007, Dr. Jaleel joined the team at Absolute Injury and Pain Physicians as Medical Director. He is currently Board Certified in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation as well as Pain Medicine via the American Board of Pain Medicine.

In Trinidad and Tobago, Dr. Jaleel held positions as an Intern, House officer, and District Medical Officer. He has also practiced in Illinois, Missouri, South Dakota and Central and North Florida.

While practicing in Trinidad , Dr. Jaleel also worked in Internal Medicine, General Surgery, Pediatrics, Neonatology, Obstetrics and Gynecology, Ear, Nose and Throat Surgery, Ophthalmology, Radiology, Neurosurgery, Plastic Surgery, Orthopedics, Emergency Medicine and Community Medicine.

Dr. Jaleel has encountered many diseases, disorders and clinical situations related to multiple aspects of trauma including penetrating and non-penetrating injuries, motor vehicular accidents and concomitant injuries including intra-abdominal injuries, closed head injuries, fractures and burns.

When not treating his patients, Dr. Jaleel enjoys travelling, reading and spending time with friends and family.

Dr. Jaleel has the following affiliations:
Diplomate, American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Diplomate, American Board of Pain Medicine
Fellow, American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Member, American Academy of Pain Medicine
Member, Florida Society of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Member, Florida Academy of Pain Medicine
Member, Florida Medical Association

Deric L. D’Agostino, D.C.
Chiropractic Physician

“The health of a body is in direct proportion to the health of its nervous system. The nervous system controls every cell, tissue and organ in your body, tap into that and “miracles” will most certainly happen!”

Dr. Deric D’Agostino attended the Logan College of Chiropractic and has been helping patients at Absolute Injury and Pain Physicians for the past nine years. Around here we call him “Dr. D.”

Dr. D’Agostino specializes in Koren Specific Technique and in the treatment of injuries resulting from motor vehicle accidents. He is a master of his craft and firmly believes that chiropractic treatment can not only help the body but also the mind. His sense of humor and the personal attention that he provides really puts patients at ease.

Dr. D’Agostino genuinely listens to the patient while working very hard to erase their pain-inducing symptoms. He is always seeking out continuing education and new methodology to add to his care repertoire.

When he is not helping patients find relief, Dr. D’Agostino enjoys training for sprint triathlons, gardening, as well as being an awesome father and husband. You will most likely find him at our Arlington location dawning a huge smile while drinking his homemade juice.