Experiencing back pain?

You may have a herniated disk.

We Know: All About Herniated Disks

What's a herniated disk?

A herniated disk occurs when the disks or cushions between the vertebrae in the spinal column shift out of place and press on the surrounding nerves causing severe pain.

What causes a herniated disk?

Herniated disks are usually caused by an injury to the back that occurs during heavy lifting, repetitive straining, a sudden fall, car accident or aging. If you get a herniated disk due to aging, this is a degenerative condition where the fibrous material within the disk is push out through a tear and then presses on nerves. This usually occurs in the lower back area. Disks become less supportive as we age due to wear and tear on this cushiony material.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disk?

The symptoms of a herniated disk can vary from person to person. Even though each person's individual experience of a herniated disk may be different, most sufferers complain of the following:

  • Inability to stand straight.
  • Aching of the back or neck.
  • Weakness in the arms.
  • Numbness in the arms or hands
  • Tingling or pain in the legs.

How is a herniated disk treated?

There are several things you can do to treat a herniated disk without surgery. Rest is usually number one on every doctor's list. Avoid strenuous activity like lifting. Wearing a back brace and taking anti-inflammatory medication to ease the pain can be beneficial. After the worst of the pain has subsided, your doctor will prescribe a physical therapy treatment program to help strengthen your back muscles. This can both treat and eliminate your symptoms with time. In serious cases, however, surgery still may be necessary to correct the herniated disk.

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