A herniated disc could be the reason behind debilitating back pain that prevents you from enjoying life. If your pain starts in your back before shooting down your leg, a herniated disc, alternatively recognized as a slipped disc or a ruptured disc, is the most likely explanation. It may sound complicated, but herniated discs are pretty easy to understand.
Your back’s structure and spine are made up of bones that are cushioned by little oval pads of cartilage. These discs are made of a tough outer layer with a soft inner layer, allowing them to protect the bones without exposing them to a potentially harmful hard surface. Herniated discs are caused when a disc presses on the nearby nerves, causing pain, numbness, and weakness in the back as well as an arm or leg. Herniated discs are most often found in the lumbar spine, which is the lower part of your backbone between your ribs and your hips.
Herniated discs occur when a small portion of the nucleus pushes out through a tear in the annulus into your spinal cord. It is possible to fix the tear surgically, but many patients prefer to avoid surgery if possible. With conservative treatment such as chiropractic care, a herniated disk can usually get better, and surgery is often not needed.
Age often causes disc herniation. This age-related wear and tear are referred to as degeneration of the discs. As you get older, your spinal discs lose some of their flexibility, making them more susceptible to injury from even a minor twist. Many patients are unable to pinpoint the exact cause of their herniated disc. Sometimes, using your back muscles instead of your leg and thigh muscles to lift heavy objects can lead to a herniated disc, but specific causes can vary.
We want all of our patients from Brooksville and Spring Hill to understand exactly what a herniated disc is. Contact us to learn more at (352) 684-2707.