Home lower back pain What is a herniated disc?

What is a herniated disc?

5 min read

A herniated disc is used to refer to the condition affecting   rubbery part that lies somewhere in between the bones making up the spine. It is usually give names such as ruptured or slipped .The herniated disc contains some jelly-like substance. When the latter is pushed out via a tear, we say that you have a herniated disc.

This disc will cause pain when it irritates the neighbouring nerves. Apart from the irritation, the part also leads to numbness in the arm or the leg.  There is general weakness in the limbs, making it difficult for you to use them for walking, holding things and so on.

No symptoms

It is worth noting that the majority of the people with herniated disc will not display any signs or symptoms for a long time. Although surgery is rarely an option, one should consider the following as the main causes of the problem.


The problem results from the degeneration of the disc through wear and tear. As the disc ages, it starts to lose the content inside, which is usually water. As a result, the disc ceases to be as flexible as it used to be.

Tearing or rupturing

Once the flexibility in the disc is lost, the disc becomes susceptible to tearing or rupturing at the instant one twist suddenly or strains the back.

Heavy objects

We are guilty of initiating the problem when we make use of our back muscles to lift heavy objects instead of the leg or thigh muscles. People whose main work is to lift heavy objects such as in factories or industries tend to complain about the back pain.

Fall or blow

One may fall or receive a blow to the back which could cause it. However, rarely is this considered a major cause.

People at risk of suffering from a herniated disc are as follows:

Overweight people

The overweight and obese persons apply so much pressure on the discs, hence the problem results.


As noted, some occupations which require one to apply a lot of physical effort. Due to the respective action of lifting pushing, pulling and so on, the risk of the disc rupturing increases.


One can inherit genes for this back problem. They are more predisposed to getting   it compared to others.

Are there complications?

Just like any other back issue, the ruptured discs could present a host   of complications to the sufferer. The numbness, extreme pain   or the general weaknesses could get out hand. If these symptoms worsen, you may need to check into a hospital for treatment.

Loss of bowel or bladder control

If the situations worsen, you will suffer from some incontinence, losing your ability to control the bladder or the bowel.

There is such a thing as the saddle anaesthesia which occurs as a result of the loss in sensation in the areas directly to the saddle. The saddle is a part that is found around in the thigh, back of your legs including the rectum.

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