Collapsed Disc


What is a Collapsed Disc?

A collapsed disc is an intervertebral disc that has lost its structural integrity. Unlike your vertebrae which are made of bone, your 23 intervertebral discs are designed to be softer and serve as shock absorbers for the back. As we age, the soft center of the intervertebral discs dehydrates and become firmer. Due to everyday stresses, fissures and tears can develop that can burst from the fibrous outer ring resulting in a herniated disc. The lost content may compress nerves adjacent to the disc and near two adjacent vertebrae. The disc shortens which alters the stability of the spine and reduces its ability to protect the spine from physical.

What is the leading cause of a collapsed disc?
Degenerative disc disease is the primary suspect for a collapsed disc. From the age of forty on, almost all of us begin to experience the effects of degenerative disc disease. Many will have no symptoms, but for some, intermittent acute pain may develop into the chronic pain of osteoarthritis.

People who work for professions that place repetitive strain on the neck and lower back, or require persistent heavy lifting may have higher risks for collapsed discs. Injuries from auto accidents or falls can also cause disc failure.

How is a collapsed disc diagnosed?
X-rays are often the first option since it is an excellent tool for ruling out infection, tumors, fractures or congenital anomalies. Myelograms may be used to assess the status of the spinal cord and nerve roots. Computerized tomography (CT) scans provide a multi-dimensional view of your spine. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is useful for identifying herniated and slipped discs and adjacent nerve systems. Electromyograms give your surgeon information about the status of your spine’s nerve systems, pinpointing faulty nerve signals.
What are the symptoms of a collapsed disc?
  • Pain in your lower back (lumbar) or tingling pain or numbness along your hips, thighs and legs
  • Persistent pain in your neck (cervical) or pain when turning your neck, or tingling pain in your arms and fingers
  • Tightness and difficulty bending or turning your head
  • Unusual weakness in your arms or legs
  • Incontinence
What are the typical treatment options for a collapsed disc?
For most patients, the reason they are visiting a doctor is the darn back pain that won’t go away. If your pain is moderate, your doctor may suggest over-the-counter pain medications. Since inflammation is almost always a part of back pain, the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory family is often recommended. They include aspirin, Motrin and Advil. There are also several prescription anti-inflammatory medications.

To avoid the risk of addiction, Dr. Nourian does not recommend opioid-derived pain medication for pain relief. Instead, he views his patients through a holistic lens and tries to understand their lifestyles from a 360-degree perspective. This helps him develop customized pain relief strategies that combine the best of western medicine with the most effective treatments from integrative medicine to naturally control pain. A good example of an alternative treatment is the Chinese medical discipline of acupuncture, which can be an effective system for relieving pain that does not lead to unwanted addictions. To reduce moderate pain, he may suggest using a transcutaneous electric nerve stimulator (TENS). For chronic pain due to a collapsed disc, he may recommend epidural steroids.

To decompress back pain naturally, Dr. Nourian may suggest postural physical therapy, water therapy, Pilates, yoga and even an ancient martial arts discipline called TaiChi.

A few patients may not respond to conservative treatments and may require surgery. Dr. Nourian may suggest additional tests. He will work closely with them to choose the most appropriate surgical strategy to relieve their back pain. All of Dr. Nourian’s microdecompression surgical treatments are opioid-free.

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Neck & Spine Specialities

Dr. Nourian has an enviable record of successfully treating the full spectrum of neck and spine problems.


Bulging/Herniated Discs

Disease & Disorders







Spinal Stenosis

Stiff Neck


General Orthopedics

Specialist in treating a wide variety of injuries and conditions that impact bones, joints, ligaments, tendons, muscles and nerves.



Chronic Pain









What Patients Think About Dr. Nourian

Awesome awesome doctor!!!very nice to all his patient! Dr. Nourian is very kind and caring. A very pleasant man and easy to communicate with. He saw my son when he injured his hip and He took extra good care of him. After 2 wks he was able to resume sports. He’s not only a very good orthopedic surgeon but also an amazing Spine doctor. He always make sure he always gets the job done. 2 Thumbs up to this Doctor!!!??

Regz Ramos


Dr. Nourian was fantastic! He was able to alleviate my back pain. I would recommend him to anyone

Nikesh Patel


Dr. Nourian is the best. His bedside manner is friendly and professional and his staff is excellent. I went to see him after a terrible whiplash injury when I rear-ended while driving. After receiving my MRI results, the doctor was quick to reach out and went over my options with me. He really cares about his patients.

Michelle Sadighpour Shophet


Dr. Nourian is an outstanding physician. I injured my back while exercising recently. I went to see him, and he explained my injury to me in detail. He told me that my injury would most likely heal without surgery, but if I needed surgery in the future he would get me through it. He is honest, intelligent, and forthcoming. I am thankful for him as my spine physician.

Michael Broukhim


Dr. Nourian was absolutely fantastic. I was struggling with intense lower back pain. He took his time 40 minutes to be exact to see me and review everything with me after another follow up we decided to do surgery. Thank god!!! I’m back to working out, picking up my child, and living my best life. I was so hesitant to do surgery but he was a true god send. He would call me weekly to see how I’m doing.

Sara Sadig


Dr. Nourian is smart, caring, attentive and super knowledgeable. I highly recommend him as an orthopedic surgeon!

Sharon Darouvar Greiner


Great with patients and consciences of patient’s time as well as needs. He will spend time to assure the patients with respect to treatment plan and follow-up was amazing with my auntie’s back issues.

Connie Esparza


An extremely knowledgeable doctor with wonderful bedside manner. He clearly explained every step of the procedure and eased all my worries. My back is feeling great thanks to Doctor Nourian

Ashley Sadig


After seeing three doctors and all of them saying I should operate Dr Nourian was able to address and issue without and surgery. I got an epidural and did physical therapy and I’m able to run around with my grand child. He’s truly a gem. Everyone at the office was friendly and supportive.

Katrin Sadighpour


Dr. Nurian explained everything very well and preformed the surgery exactly as planned. I woke up pain free and the surgery pain was gone in five days. Could not give him enough praise.

Wade Savage