A common source of back or neck pain is due to a herniated disc. Often referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc, it occurs when the soft center of a spinal disc pushes through a crack in the tougher exterior casing.
Disc herniation is most often the result of a gradual, aging-related wear and tear called disc degeneration. As you age, your spinal discs – which serve as shock-absorbing cushions for the spine – lose water content. They become weaker and less flexible, and more susceptible to tearing or rupturing with even the most minor strain or twist.
The symptoms of a herniated disc can vary widely depending on both its location and severity. In addition to back and neck pain, a herniated disc often irritates nearby nerves causing radiating pain, numbness or weakness in an arm or leg.
It’s also possible to have a herniated disc without even knowing it. Herniated discs sometimes appear on spinal images of people who aren’t experiencing any symptoms at all.
Factors that increase your risk of a herniated disc include:
Physical therapy can minimize the pain of a herniated disc. However, some people with herniated discs eventually need surgery.
If you’ve been diagnosed with a herniated disc and are considering surgical options, call 330.835.5533 for an appointment with a Summa spine specialist. Our surgeons are experts in minimally invasive spine surgery, which offers faster recovery, less post-operative pain and less scarring.
To learn more, download the herniated disc brochure or view the video.