The Vault

It’s normal to feel a light or sporadic back pain from time to time. This does not necessarily mean that there’s already an injury or underlying spine condition, or that it warrants a visit to an orthopedic spine surgeon. However, it is still important to know the difference between normal back aches and pains from something that actually requires medical attention.

Do I have a herniated disc?

Herniated, slipped, or ruptured discs occurs when there’s a crack in the hard exterior of the spine disc, causing the soft, gelatinous material inside it to seep out. Our discs serve as cushions between our spine’s vertebrae. If one or more of the discs hardens, cracks, or shifts out of place, this can lead to back pain, spinal instability, and will even affect the nerves, resulting to movement impairment.

Age related wear and tear is one of the most common causes of herniated discs. Over time, the discs begin to lose their water content. This makes them stiffer and more prone to injury and cracks. Herniation can also occur in the neck area as well. It’s not always clear what the source of herniation is for each patient. Once cause could be strain or trauma in the lower back.

Anyone can suffer from a herniated disc at any point of their lives. This risk actually increases with age. However, there are many who do not feel any symptoms of herniation and are therefore aware of their condition.

Risk factors of herniation include a person’s weight, heredity, and occupation. If you’re constantly feeling pain, numbness, weakness, and a sudden change in your bowel habits, it may be time to visit a specialist. Make sure to contact Spine Center of Texas if you’re suffering from a herniated disc or would like a second opinion. We can help you arrange an appointment with our board-certified spine surgeons and solve that back problem once and for all.

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