Disc herniation sounds scary, but what is it really? Remember from Spine Anatomy 101 that the spinal disc is a squishy thing that sits in between the vertebral bodies—the bones that make-up the spine. Normally, the disc has a certain shape, a contour that slowly begins to change as the disc ages. Sometimes, the disc will bulge in a generalized fashion beyond the boundaries of the bones. Disc bulging is very common and normal as the disc gets older. When a disc herniates, a focal part of the disc is displaced beyond the vertebral body boundary. The difference between a bulge and a herniation is the amount of disc that is involved. The tricky part is that both bulges and herniations are found in people who have no pain. Harry works as an accountant. All day long, he sits at his desk working with the computer. One morning, while brushing his teeth, he feels a sudden neck pain with a sharp, lacerating pain screaming down his arm. Later that night, he starts to feel numbness and ting...
A herniated (slipped) disk occurs when all or part of a spinal disk is forced through a weakened part of the disk. This places pressure on nearby nerves.
Acute low back pain
Chronic low back pain
Lumbar radiculopathy; Cervical radiculopathy; Herniated intervertebral disk; Prolapsed intervertebral disk; Slipped disk; Ruptured disk; Herniated nucleus pulposus
Causes, incidence, and risk factors
The bones (vertebrae) of the spinal column run down the back, connecting the skull to the pelvis. These bones protect nerves that come out of the brain and travel down your back, forming the spinal cord. Nerve roots are large nerves that branch out from the spinal cord and leave your spinal column between each vertebrae.
The spinal vertebrae are separated by disks filled with a soft, gelatinous substance. These disks cushion the spinal colum...
Spinal disc degeneration is not a disease. In other words, disc degeneratio n is not an abnormality in the normal human body. By itself, disc degeneration does not cause pain. Disc degeneration is the natural aging process that causes normal changes in the spinal discs.
Donald was sitting in the cold, sterile exam room. He comes here every year for his annual check-up with his doctor. But, this time he has a question on his mind. What is disc degeneration? His mother, who has had low back pain for a number of years, was told that her lumbar discs have degenerated. Because her pain has become so debilitating, she now uses a walker to get around. Being afraid of his future, Donald wants to learn about disc degeneration. He does not want the same fate as his mother's fate.
Even though it is inevitable, people worry about disc degeneration. All of the parts in the human body change as they age. Skin degeneration is the most visible sign of aging. Wrinkles, cracks, fissures, and lo...
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