A herniated disc also known as a slipped disc is a medical condition affecting the spine in which a tear in the outer, fibrous ring (annulus fibrosus) of intervertebral disc (discus intervertebralis) allows the soft, central portion (nucleus pulposus) to bulge out beyond the damaged outer rings.
It is normally referred to as a problem involving one of the rubbery cushions (disks) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that build up to make your spine. The nearby nerves are also disturbed if the herniated disc has issues; such as the nerves nearby can result in pain, besides numbness and weakness can also be experienced.
The causes that can lead to herniated disc issues include:
- As we start aging, the spine becomes less flexible which increases the risk of injury.
- An injury such as fall can also push you towards the disc problem.
- Repeated straining, improper lifting,
- Excessive body weight and smoking
- Sometimes even a minor strain or twist will take you towards the tearing and rupturing of the disc.
- Sometimes utilizing your back muscles instead of your leg and thigh muscles to lift large and heavy objects and also twisting and turning can lead to a herniated disc.
- A fall or blow to the back can also cause a herniated disc.
When herniated discs presses on the nerve roots, pain, weakness and numbness can be felt in that area of the body where the nerve travels. It can also cause pain and numbness in the buttock and down the leg, which is known as sciatica. And sciatica is the most common symptom of herniated disc.
In a nutshell if you are going through the herniated disc problem then you will be facing a headache, neck, arm, mid-back, chest wall, low back or leg pain and /or numbness. And identifying such symptoms you must immediately seek help.