You are moving to a new place, and feel a strange sensation in your back when lifting a heavy box. A few days later, there is a numb sensation in your limbs. You may be suffering from a herniated disk, so be sure to read up on the condition while you make an appointment with your doctor.
A herniated disk is also referred to as a “slipped disk” or “ruptured disk.” Those disks in reference are the rubbery circular pads found between the spaces of your spinal vertebrae, which act as a shock absorber when you bend or curve your back. Each disk has a soft, jelly-like center that cushions the nerves within the spine. When a disk dislocation occurs, the jelly center of the disk is pushed out through a crack in the rubber casing of the disk. At this point, any back movements may pinch the nerve encased in the slipped jelly-like portion of the disk and cause symptoms of a herniated disk.
When a disk is herniated, the affected individual may not feel anything immediately, but will have symptoms a few days later. However, for some, the symptoms will be immediate. Herniated disks can occur anywhere along the spinal column, from the neck to the middle back to the lower back, though the lower back has the most frequent occurrences. Fortunately, most problems that occur with a ruptured disk can be corrected without surgery.
In most cases, the cause of a herniated disk is the result of strenuous physical activity that involves the spinal column or the back. They can range from playing sports, twisting the body or lifting heavy objects. It can happen to someone who is obese as well, due to the pressure placed on the spine. Herniated disks are more common in men over 30 years old.
Be sure to contact a doctor if you think you have a herniated disk. If left untreated, it may cause paralysis or permanent damage to the spinal cord.
Since the location of the herniated disk can vary up and down the spine, symptoms may vary. However, the most common signs of a ruptured disk are:
If you are experiencing one or more above symptoms, be sure to take some time and think about any physical strains in the past few days. Sometimes, symptoms of a herniated disk will not appear until a few days after the initial incident. Be sure to see a doctor if you suspect you have a herniated disk.
There are two major categories of treatment for a herniated disk, non-surgical and surgical.
Here are some tips to help prevent the occurrence of a herniated disk:
Be sure to listen to your body for signs and symptoms of a herniated disk. If you suspect that you are suffering from a herniated disk, seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent further complications.