Risk Factors of a Herniated Disc and When to Seek Medical Help

Many conditions are likely to force you to experience back pain. While some conditions may not be life-threatening, others may prevent you from living your everyday life. A herniation may fail to be painful if it does not press on your nerves. However, you may have painful disabling symptoms radiating to your arms and legs when the slipped disc presses on your nerves. Are you suffering from a herniated disc in Houston? If so, Yancey Pain & Spine is the facility to visit.

What are your risk factors for developing a herniated disc?

  • Wear and tear on your spine

Continuous wear and tear on your spine are likely to cause degeneration. Pain is inevitable with degeneration. Since your spine supports and distributes your weight, your discs absorb movement shocks. Your disc functions wear them out over time, weakening the annulus fibrosus (outer layer). Ultimately, the weak outer layer develops cracks, allowing the disc’s contents (nucleus pulposus) to leak.

  • Injury

An injury that entails a sudden jerk might exert pressure on your disc, forcing it to have a herniation. Additionally, improper lifting of heavy loads may also twist your disc. Thus, improper lifting exerts extreme pressure on your spinal segment.

  • Poor sitting posture

An improper sitting position tends to put pressure on your disc. Over time, the stress weakens your annulus, allowing your nucleus to herniate.

There are several possible causes of disc herniation. While you can avoid some of the reasons, others like aging are unavoidable because they are natural occurrences. Some of the causes of disc herniation include aging, repetitive motion, and genetics.

What are the symptoms you are likely to have with a herniated disc?

Symptoms you are likely to have with a herniated disc vary depending on the location and size of the herniation. If the ruptured disc presses on your nerve, you may experience numbness, weakness, or pain in the specific area of your body where the nerves travel. However, if the herniation does not affect your nerves, you may feel mild low back pain.

Therefore, the symptoms you are likely to have include:

  • Back pain

A herniation can occur at any part of your spine. As a result, you may experience swelling or discomfort. Additionally, the herniation may cause painful symptoms, especially on your lower back and legs. You may also have the senses radiating to your arms or on one side of your body.

  • Numbness

Tingling sensations and numbness are familiar with disc herniation, especially on your back’s affected area. The feeling may or may not fail to have accompanying pain.

When should you seek medical attention with a herniated disc?

The good news is, a disc herniation is likely to resolve independently without your doctor recommending a complex procedure to minimize your symptoms. A significant percentage of patients with herniated discs may not have symptoms weeks after having a slipped disc. However, your doctor may recommend an urgent evaluation if you experience significant limb weakness or have trouble with bowel movement.

Your spinal discs play a significant role in supporting your weight. Unfortunately, too much pressure or wear and tear may force the disc’s contents to leak, causing you pain in your lower back or lower legs. Contact your doctor when the herniation causes you debilitating pain to know how you can get help.