BlogHow Does a Herniated Disc Occur? |

Without any wildly dramatic cause, an astounding one-third of adults over the age of 20 experience the signs of herniated discs. However, symptoms are only seen in 3% of these cases. Why is this such a common occurrence and how does a herniated disc occur?

How does a herniated disc occur? 

The body’s natural aging process causes the gradual wearing out of the discs in our spines. In particular, we lose the cushioning fluid that helps our spines remain flexible and absorb shock. When this happens, our discs may tear allowing the soft, jelly-like material within the disc to bulge through the other wall of the disc. While aging can influence the deterioration of spinal discs, those who are overweight or who smoke are also at an increased risk for disc herniation.

Lifting, bending, reaching, and twisting are all actions that can also create undue stress on the spine, especially over a long period of time.

Certain high-risk jobs and injuries related to every day overuse movements can prompt intense low back pain as the result of a herniated disc. Drivers who sit in a truck, especially a semi, for extended periods of time also have increased risk of injuries and pain related to herniated discs. This is also true of people who at desks for long periods of time during the day.

Treating herniated discs

If a herniated disc causes back pain, the results can be debilitating. If the herniation presses into the nerves of the spine pain, numbness can be the result. Most symptoms can be alleviated with the use of over-the-counter medications, like ibuprofen, or corticosteroids. If pain persists, talk to your pain doctor. He or she may be able to recommend treatment plans for relieving pain, or suggest more invasive surgical such as a percutaneous discectomy.

Are you concerned that your back pain may be related to a herniated disc?