What is it?
Herniated discs—also known as slipped, bulging or ruptured discs—occur when the inner layer of a disc between the vertebrae in the spine squeezes through the outer layer and into the spinal column, putting pressure on the nerves.
Causes, Symptoms and Risk Factors
A herniated disc can be the result of:
- Normal wear and tear and cartilage deterioration associated with aging
- Heavy lifting
- Twisting or wrenching the spine
Symptoms appear in the back arms or legs, and include:
People at particular risk of suffering from a herniated disc:
- Are middle aged
- Are overweight
- Are taller
- Do work or participate in physical activities that put strain on the spine
A doctor will diagnose a herniated disc by performing a physical examination, reviewing symptoms and medical history, and conducting imaging test, such as X-rays, an MRI or CT scans.
Treatments for a herniated disc include:
- Icing or applying heat
- Taking anti-inflammatory medication
- Undergoing physical therapy
- Modifying lifestyle and activities
If these treatments do not work, the doctor may recommend surgery to relieve pain and restore movement.