Herniated Disk

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sometimes called a slipped or ruptured disk, a herniated disk most often occurs in your lower back. It is one of the most common causes of low back pain. Dr. Edward Hill tells us more about herniated disks in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Your backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between them are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place.

As you age, the disks break down or degenerate. As they do, they lose their cushioning ability. This can lead to pain if the back is stressed.

A herniated disk is a disk that ruptures. This allows the jelly-like center of the disk to leak, irritating the nearby nerves. This can cause sciatica or back pain.

You can have a herniated disk without knowing it but some herniated disks can be painful.

The most common signs and symptoms of a herniated disk are:

Arm or leg pain.

Numbness or tingling. People who have a herniated disk often experience numbness or tingling in the body part served by the affected nerves.

Weakness. Muscles served by the affected nerves tend to weaken.

Treatments include rest, nerve pain medicine and/or anti-inflammatory medicines, physical therapy and sometimes surgery.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.