What is a Herniated Disc?

In the spine there are spongy discs in-between the bones, formally known as the vertebrae. Discs are the shock absorbers for your back and assist the back with flexibility. When damaged, discs are capable of causing severe problems.

A herniated disc is when the disc bulges or tears out of its area of detainment. These can occur anywhere along the spine. A couple of factors can cause a herniated disc, including old age and injury.

Herniated Disc Photo Illustration

Herniated Disc

Symptoms of Herniated Disc

Symptoms manifest through pain, numbness, and weakness within the area of the body where the nerve travels. Upon a disc’s herniation, it is likely that the disc will press on nerve roots, which would subsequently send pain or numbness in the area affected. Additionally, weakness may occur in the area where the nerve reaches. A herniated disc in the lower back that sends pain down the leg is known as Sciatica.

You may be unaware of a herniated disc if that disc does not press up against a nerve, in fact you may not feel pain at all, if the disc doesn’t touch the nerve. Nevertheless, if you do feel pain in your back, it may be best to visit a specialized back physician. A doctor will be able to diagnose a herniated disc by your description or a scan (MRI or CT).