Disk Herniation – The Causes and Symptoms

November 12, 2012

Disk Herniation - The Causes and Symptoms

Disk herniation happens whenever the spinal disks are forced through a weaker part of themselves and, in turn, put pressure on the nerves nearby.

What are the Causes?

The spinal bones happen to protect the brain’s nerves and move down the back, creating the spinal cord. The nerve roots refer to big nerves that separate from the spin and leave spinal columns between every vertebrae. The bones of the spine, on the other hand, are divided by disks that cushion it and leave some space between the vertebrae. These disks let the vertebrae move properly and let you reach and bend as needed.

Sometimes, these disks might move out of their places and cause disk herniation. Sometimes, they might even break open from strain or injury and cause ruptures. In these cases, the spinal nerves will be put into pressure and might suffer from numbness, weakness or pain. Slipped disks most commonly happen in the lower back of the spine, though the neck disks get affected sometimes, too.

The middle and upper back disks hardly ever experience this.

Disk herniation normally affects middle-aged men and older men, especially after they do strenuous activities. However, there are also other risk factors involved, including congenital conditions that affect the lumber spine canal’s size.

What are the Symptoms?

Neck pain and lower back pain usually feel extremely different. Sometimes, they involve a dull ache, a pulsating or burning pain, or a mild tingling, while other times, the pain is so bad that you can hardly move. Numbness might play a part here, too.

Most of the time, the pain will only appear on one particular side in the body. With disk herniation in the lower back, for example, pain might be felt in one leg area or one hip area along with some numbness in the sole or the calf of the foot. One of your legs might feel weak, too. With herniation in the neck, on the other hand, you might feel pain whenever you move your neck or feel a deeper pain over or near your shoulder that moves onto the forearm, the upper arm or even the fingers.

The shoulder, forearm, fingers and elbow might feel numb, too. Usually, this pain will start slowly, but might get worse after sitting or standing; at night; when laughing, sneezing or coughing; or when walking too much or bending backwards.

Weakness might be felt in certain muscles, too, or you might not even notice it until someone asks you about it. In some cases, you might have trouble lifting your arm or your legs, standing on your toes, or squeezing your hands. The numbness, weakness or pain associated with disk herniation will usually vanish or get better after a few weeks or months, though.

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