A Herniated Disc (also known as a Bulging Disc) occurs when a disc in the cervical or lumbar spine ruptures. Soft material from inside the disc can form a bulge that presses against the spinal cord and nerve roots, causing pain in the neck, back, arms or legs.
Spinal discs are the durable, elastic pads that act as shock absorbers for the vertebrae. They cushion the vertebrae and allow the spine to twist and bend. Each disk has a tough, fibrous outer wall and a softer inner nucleus.
Depending on the location of the herniation a variety of symptoms can occur. If the herniation is located in the cervical spine it can cause sharp pain in the neck and shoulders. Also, pain, numbness or tingling can be felt down the shoulders and into the arms and hands.
If the herniation is located in the lumbar spine it can cause pain through the mid and lower back. Also, pain, numbness or tingling can be felt into the buttocks, legs and feet. In severe cases bowel or bladder dysfunction may occur. If this thus has occurred, consult a physician immediately.
A herniated disc can be caused by the normal wear and tear of aging, or it can be caused by traumatic injury to the spine. Those whose lifestyle includes repetitive movements and heavy lifting are susceptible to disc herniations. Typically, small cracks or tears form in the discs outer wall resulting in a weak spot.
A herniation occurs when the discs nucleus pushes through the weakened disc wall. The bulging disc material can push into the spinal canal, pressing against the spinal cord and nerve roots.
If you, or someone you love, have been suffering from neck or back pain, New Jersey Spinal Medicine and Surgery can help. Contact us today to discuss treatment options. Our goal at New Jersey Spinal Medicine and Surgery is to get you back to a healthy and active lifestyle.