What is a Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc, also known as a slipped disc, describes the condition when a vertebral disc is forced out of its natural place in the spinal column. These discs are rubbery cushions that sit between the bones or vertebrae in the spinal column, protecting them from shocks and allowing for flexibility in your spine.
When a disc slips out of place, it can compress a nearby spinal nerve which will cause unexpected numbness or pain. As the disc’s inner portion slips out to the outer ring, this leads to more discomfort and pain.
Herniated Disc Symptoms
Herniated disc symptoms include:
– Muscle weakness
– Burning, aching, and tingling sensations
– Pain during walking, sitting, or standing
– Pain that worsens in the middle of the night
– Numbness on a single side of the body
Herniated Disc Causes
Age is the most common cause for a herniated disc, as the outer ring of a disc becomes weaker with age, causing slippage to the inner ring. Intense physical activity can also lead to a herniated disc, such as lifting while turning or twisting.
Additionally, those who are overweight are more susceptible to herniated discs, as their discs have more weight to support. Herniated discs are more commonly see in men than women.
How is a Herniated Disc treated?
The type of treatment depends on the severity of the slippage and how much pain or discomfort the patient is feeling. In mild cases of herniated disc, physical therapy is enough to help strengthen the muscles surrounding the back. More severe cases will require surgical intervention, in which doctors replace the slipped disc with an artificial replacement.