A Herniated Disc

Herniated DiskA herniated disc is an issue with one of the rubbery cushions (discs) that sit between the vertebrae (bones) that make up your spine. A herniated disc can occur anywhere in the spine, but it most commonly happens in the lower back. Depending on the herniated disc’s location, it can cause pain, numbness, or weakness in an arm or leg.


The most common cause of disc herniation occurs from steady wear and tear induced by aging. The discs grow less flexible and more prone to ripping as people age.

Risk factors:

  1. Excess body weight.
  2. A lot of driving.
  3. Sedentary behavior.

Prevention: Do the following to help prevent a herniated disc:

  1. Keep a nice posture.
  2. Keep a healthy weight.
  3. Give up smoking.

Leg Pain

A herniated lumbar disc compressing the sciatic nerve can produce sciatica, which is a type of nerve pain. On each side of your body, there are two sciatic nerves. The sciatic nerve is a nerve that starts in the spine and extends down the leg. When a disc protrudes and presses on the sciatic nerve, pain radiates down the leg and below the knee, and perhaps even into the foot.

Lumbar Spine

The lumbar spine is strong and durable, but it is subjected to a lot of stress and pressures, which can lead to a variety of issues and pain. Fractures. The most common type of lumbar spine fracture found in athletes is a minor fracture, which occurs as a result of repetitive exertion or low-energy contact.

Physical Examination for A Herniated Disc

Neurological check: The doctor will examine for signs of loss of sensation, such as numbness, and weakness in the leg and foot, to determine whether there is a neurological condition.

Range of motion tests: During the physical exam, the patient will bend from side to side and lean forward and back.

Leg raise test: The straight leg raises, also known as the LA Segue test, is a typical stretch used to check for a herniated disc. The patient lies flat on his back for this test, and the doctor gently elevates the injured limb until the pain is noticed.

Checking vital signs and tracking gait are two more. Examine the area of the lumbar spine.

Nearby Nerve

Because spinal structures and nerves are so near together, irritation and pressure on the nerves are a possibility. A variety of structures in the spine can cause Back pain. For instance, there are massive nerve roots leading to the legs and limbs that can become irritated and cause pain. One of the most prevalent causes of nerve pain is when a person has a bulging or herniated disc. The gel-like material inside the disc might also irritate a nerve if it leaks out.

Nucleus Pulposus

Back discomfort and nerve root irritation can come from a herniated nucleus pulposus, which occurs when part or all of the soft, gelatinous center region of an intervertebral disc is driven through a weaker part of the disc.

Part of the Spine

The cervical, thoracic, and lumbar curvature of the spine are all normal. Lower back (lumbar spine): A herniated disc in the lower back frequently causes sciatica/radiculopathy. Pain, burning, tingling, and numbness that extends from the buttock into the leg and sometimes into the foot can be caused by pressure on one or more nerves that contribute to the sciatic nerve.

Wear and Tear

The discs in the spine might protrude into the spine, and the ligaments in the spine can thicken as a result of wear and tear. Spinal stenosis is also a result of these disorders. Traumatic injuries resulting in dislocation or fracture of the bones in the spine, as well as the development of tumors in the spine, are all probable causes of spinal stenosis.

Shock Absorbers

From C2-C3 to L5-S1, intervertebral discs are situated between each vertebra. They make approximately one-fourth of the height of the spinal column when combined. The intervertebral discs are flat, circular “cushions” that exist between each vertebra in your spine and act as shock absorbers. The discs serve as shock absorbers for the spine’s stresses while also allowing it to move.

Tough Outer

The annulus fibrosis and the nucleus pulposus are the two primary components of the disc. The annulus fibrosis is the disc’s harder outer layer. It’s made out of a tangle of intertwined strands. The nucleus pulpous is the disc’s gel-like inner layer.

Cough Sneeze

Chronic coughing or sneezing can sometimes cause back pain. Coughing puts a strain on the back, causing it to compress more than usual. When coughing isn’t persistent, though, the pain is most often caused by a back problem.

Medical Advice for A Herniated Disc

If the pain is only mild to moderate, Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medicine is commonly used to treat a herniated disc. An epidural steroid injection uses a spinal needle guided by X-ray to precisely target the level of the disc herniation.

We’re here to help STOP THE PAIN
If you or your loved one is suffering from degenerative disc disease, a herniated disc, or another complex spine condition, there is hope. We can help. Call Southwest Scoliosis and Spine Institute at 214-556-0555 to make an appointment today.