Sometimes referred to as slipped, ruptured or bulging disc, a herniated disc occurs when the jelly-like center, or nucleus, of your vertebrae pushes against the outer ring of the vertebrae causing back pain, numbness, or weakness in one or both legs. In some cases, if the disc is worn or injured, the nucleus may burst through the outer ring altogether.
A herniated disc can occur in anyone at any age, but is most often caused by the natural aging of the spine or an injury to the spine. Improperly lifting heavy objects or straining your back can make your spine vulnerable to injuries and result in a herniated disc. Other causes include the vibration of a vehicle during frequent driving or staying seated for long periods of time, which both put a strain on your back and spine. Being overweight or too sedentary can also put added stress on the discs in your back. Getting regular exercise is important in preventing many medical conditions including a herniated disc. It is also important to refrain from smoking, as it reduces the oxygen supply to the discs causing more rapid degeneration.
Diagnosis is made upon examination of the back while imaging tests can be used to confirm diagnosis.
See also: Laser Therapy Treatment