What Is a Herniated Disc?
A herniated disc is a disc between the vertebrae of the spine that is compressed in some way, causing the substance that provides it with support and cushioning to herniate. Also known as a ruptured disc or a slipped disc, these discs can no longer provide vertebrae with adequate support or structure.
This may cause irritation, discomfort, or pain as the vertebrae are not as separated or cushioned as they should be.
What Causes a Herniated Disc?
Herniated discs arise usually from 3 causes; spinal degradation with age, spinal injury, or a combination of the 2.
There are plenty of risk factors when considering if you are susceptible to a herniated disc. Things like obesity, high-impact activity, and smoking can all increase the possibility of a herniated disc.
What are the Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?
The symptoms associated with a herniated disc will depend on the location of the disc. As most of these disc issues occur in the spine, they are commonly associated with lower back pain as well as numbness or tingling in the buttocks, calves, or thighs.
However, herniated discs can also occur in the neck. This may cause pain, numbness, or tingling in the arm or shoulder.
When living with a herniated disc, it may feel like some activities are difficult, such as lifting heavy items. You may experience overall muscle weakness, though some people have herniated discs without experiencing any symptoms at all.
What are My Treatment Options for a Herniated Disc?
Surgery is often only recommended in extreme cases.
The most common recommendations for this condition include avoiding activities that may irritate the area. Muscle relaxers or pain medications may be prescribed to help manage pain and discomfort. In some cases, spinal decompression may be recommended.
A consultation with our professionals in Texas can help diagnose your condition. They can provide you with insight into the right treatment for your experiences and lifestyle.
Frequently Asked Questions About Herniated Discs
1. Is a herniated disc serious?
Typically herniated discs are not serious and can be treated with over-the-counter medicine and exercise. That being said, there is a possibility of nerve damage if a herniated disc remains untreated.