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4 Facts about Herniated Discs

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Discs are small, circular cushions of soft tissue that are situated between the bones (vertebrae) of the spine. These cushions are compressible and act as shock absorbers for the vertebrae. When discs bulge from their proper places between the bones, this condition is described as a herniated disc. Depending on which disc is herniated and how much it bulges out, the amount of pain associated with this condition can vary. Herniated discs can also lead to tingling or numbness in the legs, feet, and arms, among other undesirable symptoms. Read on to learn four more facts about herniated discs.

  1. Herniated discs result from a weakness in the disc. When a disc loses water content, it becomes flatter and therefore provides less cushioning to the spine. The softer inside part of the disc will then push through the weaker outer portion. This causes pain by leaking inflammatory chemicals or compressing a nerve root of the spinal cord.
  2. Some people are at a higher risk for developing a herniated disc. Those in their thirties and forties have shown to have a higher incidence of this condition. Suffering any trauma from a fall or accident also increases your risk. Certain jobs that require heavy lifting on a regular basis or any acute strain on the back may lead to a higher risk.
  3. Herniated discs can be treated in a variety of ways. Your physician may decide to treat your condition with physical therapy, medications, interventional spine care (steroid injections or minimally invasive surgery), or with an open surgical procedure such as spinal fusion. The course of treatment depends on the severity and location of the herniation.
  4. It is possible to prevent this condition. Practicing good posture, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding high-heeled shoes are all ways to help prevent the pain and inflammation that comes with a herniated disc.

West Hills Hospital & Medical Center has the capability and expertise to provide our community with the spine treatment and surgery that their needs require. If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact our friendly staff at (818) 676-4000.


Learn More About Our Recent Blog Topics!

Health Resources

Learning about your own biology is the first step to living a healthier life. If you would like to learn more about pain management, childbirth, or any other of our recent blog topics, read through the links below. If you have any remaining questions, give West Hills Hospital & Medical Center a call at (818) 676-4000.


West Hills Hospital & Medical Center has lowered the BMI limit for the Lap-Band!

The FDA has approved use of the Lap Band in patients whose BMIs are 30-34 with at least one-high risk obesity-related condition such as diabetes or high blood pressure.  Find out if you are a candidate for this weight loss surgery by calling 818/676-4141 today!

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Children's Burn Prevention Tips

Burn Prevention

A large number of burn injuries are reported each year, many of which occurred inside the home. An injury from a burn due to heat, chemicals, or electricity can cause much pain and damage to the superficial tissue of the body and can sometimes leave permanent scarring. While adults know better than to touch things that may burn them, children tend to learn by touching and interacting with things that may be dangerous. Read on to learn more about how to prevent burns in children:

While Cooking:

  • Always be sure that pot handles are turned to the center of the stove
  • Use the back burners whenever possible
  • Always test the temperature of food heated in the microwave before giving it to a child; microwaves tend to cook some types of food unevenly, leaving parts of the meal too hot, while others are still cold
  • Always remember that stoves, toasters, and other kitchen appliances remain quite hot for a while after using them

While Eating or Drinking:

  • Never drink hot liquids while handling a child, as the liquid could spill and scald the baby
  • It is unwise to use tablecloths when children are learning to walk; they may try to use it to stabilize themselves or pull themselves up, pulling down hot liquids or heavy objects that may harm them in the process

While Bathing:

  • Always test the temperature of a child’s bath water to make sure it is not too hot—using a baby bath thermometer is also advisable
  • Lower the temperature of your hot water heater to the low-medium setting or 120°F

General Fire Prevention Tips:

  • Keep lighters and matches away from children
  • Never leave lit candles unattended, as they are easy for pets and children to knock over
  • Consider installing a fire extinguisher in your house in preparation of small fires
  • Make sure your smoke detectors all function properly
  • Create a fire escape plan and practice it with your children

The world-renowned Grossman Burn Center at West Hills Hospital & Medical Center is staffed with skilled and highly-trained professionals that are readily available to assist you in the event of a burn injury. Contact us today at (818) 676-4000 for more information.


Prostate Cancer: Informed Decision Making

Prostate cancer is not only one disease—there are many different kinds of the disease. Depending on the type of cancer that a patient has, they have a few decisions to make on the course of treatment they wish to take.

In this video clip, you can learn about making informed decisions in the effort to prevent prostate cancer. The American Cancer Society recommends that each man learns as much as they can about their testing and treatment options.

West Hills Hospital & Medical Center’s Cancer Care Center offers sophisticated care and guidance to offer the best treatment plan possible for each patient. Learn more about our cancer care services by contacting us at (818) 676-4000.


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