The facts about "herniated disc problems"
The human spine is made up of bones lined up in a row called vertebra. Small discs - covered with cartilage outside and a jelly-like substance on the inside- are placed between the bones. The discs act like "shock absorbers" of the spine when we move, bend or carry heavy loads.
Inside the canal of the spinal column are a collection of nerves running from the brain along the length of the spinal cord. When the jelly-like substance of the inner disc bulges through the outer cartilage lining (called herniated disc) and then pressure on the spinal nerves, we feel pain. People between 30 and 45 years of age are more prone to herniated discs problems.
The causes of herniated disc
The main cause of a herniated disc in younger people between 30 and 45 years of age is usually an injury such as a sport injury like a fall or lifting of a heavy object and as well as obesity.
After a back injury the disc can be herniated that means the soft material inside the disc penetrates through the outer cartilage lining, pressuring against the nerve. The spinal nerve becomes first irritated and then inflamed, causing pain, numbness and weakness in the back and legs.
What are the signs of herniated lumbar disc symptoms?
The majority of people suffer from "herniated lumbar disc symptoms". Some people with lumbar herniated disc symptoms are pain free in the beginning but when the spinal nerve gets too much pressure from the herniated disc, sneezing, laughing, coughing, urinating and even defecating could make the back pain worse. The variety of herniated lumbar disc symptoms doesn't stop here. The patient could also feel pain below the knee or experience weakness in the legs or have trouble lifting his feet from the floor.
What are the signs of herniated disc neck pain?
When severe neck pain strikes a herniated disc could be the reason. The pain could start in the armpit and upper shoulder blade continuing along the arm to the fingers. Serious signs are the lack of control over the bowel movement and loss of bladder control; both symptoms calling for an immediate medical attention.
Herniated disc diagnosis
First your doctor will ask you questions about your back pain symptoms and then he will perform a general physical examination. The next step is to take a closer look to your spine, the doctor will test your coordination and reflexes, your muscle strength and if you feel sensations. However, to find other causes of your back pain symptoms or to complete the herniated diagnosis, the doctor may send you to a CAT (computerized axial tomography) scan or X-rays or MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) test.
MRI Scan of lumbar disc herniation between fourth and fifth lumbar vertebral bodies.
A spinal disc herniation demonstrated via MRI
MRI scan of large herniation (on the right) of the disc between the L4-L5 vertebrae.
Narrowed space between L5 and S1 vertebrae, indicating probable prolapsed intervertebral disc - a classic picture