What is a herniated disc. A herniated disc happens when the soft, spongy material that cushions (shock absorbs) the bones of the spine (vertebrae) slips out of place, breaks open, or becomes. damaged. Other names include slipped disc or ruptured disc. The most common place for a herniated disc is in the lower back.
When a herniated disc presses on a nerve, it can cause pain, numbness, and weakness.
What are the causes of herniated disc? The two main causes are aging and injury. As we age, the discs can become dry and less flexible. An injury causes the gel in the disc to escape through the tears and cracks caused by the injury.
What are the symptoms? If the herniated disc presses on a nerve; then the nerve contact can cause pain, weakness, and tingling in the nerve area. Some patients experience back ache. In severe cases, you may lose bladder or bowel control. Pain in the buttocks and legs is called sciatica.
How is a herniated disc diagnosed? Through the oral examination with your doctor and usually through an MRI or CT Scan.
What are the treatments? Treatments vary.
- Sometimes rest and waiting until the injury heals can remedy the problem. Rest should be monitored since too much rest can weaken muscles.
- Exercises and physical therapy can help.
- Medications don’t cure the problem but they can help manage symptoms.
- Heat in the form of heating pads, hot showers, heat-packs and sometimes ice-packs may help.
- About 10 percent of people with a herniated disc need to have a surgery.