Emergency Care

Emergency care for back and neck pain from a slipped disk

A disk is a round cushion that sits between each vertebra in the spine and acts as a shock absorber when you move. A slipped disk, also called a ruptured, bulging or herniated disk, is when the soft center of a disk squeezes through the dense outer layer of the disk. This applies pressure to a spinal nerve and causes inflammation, aches and pains in the back and neck.

Sometimes, your pain is severe enough that you go to the emergency room. Serving Elkhart County, Goshen Hospital Emergency Department can provide relief for a herniated disk in Goshen, IN. Our emergency physicians and nurses work together with our orthopedists to provide relief and a plan for healing.

For immediate medical care, call 911 or come to our emergency room at 200 High Park Ave.

Herniated disk symptoms

Back pain from a herniated disk is usually felt in the lower back, which is also called the lumbar spine or lumbar region. If you have a herniated disk in this area, you may experience these symptoms:

  • Lower back pain that’s burning, sharp or achy
  • Shooting pain from the lower back or buttocks down one leg
  • Weakness, tingling or numbness in one leg

Symptoms of a slipped disk in the neck, or cervical spine, include:

  • Headache, especially in the back of the head
  • Burning neck and shoulder pain that may shoot down one arm
  • Weakness, tingling or numbness in one arm

Sneezing, coughing, sitting down or bending over may worsen your symptoms because they put more pressure on the affected nerve.

When to go to the ER for a slipped disk

The severity of your back or neck pain may cause you to come to the emergency room for herniated disk treatment. Also, some situations imply complications and require emergency care, including:

  • Bladder or bowel dysfunction, even when you have a full bladder
  • Progressive loss of sensation in the back of your legs, inner thighs and areas around the rectum (saddle anesthesia)
  • Worsening symptoms to the point where you can’t do your normal activities

At Goshen Hospital Emergency Department, we perform tests to diagnose a herniated disk, offer pain relief and provide any other emergency treatment. Our physicians refer you to an orthopedist at Goshen Physicians Orthopedics & Sports Medicine for additional care. These orthopedic specialists may recommend home care, such as rest and ice, medication, physical therapy, steroid injections or surgery. Trust our teams to provide integrated care that focuses on your well-being and healing your slipped disk.

Goshen Hospital Emergency Department treats bulging disks in Goshen, IN, with collaborative, compassionate care.