A little light and sporadic back pain here and there is typically normal for most people, and does not necessarily indicate the presence of an injury or underlying spine condition. While every incidence of back pain may not warrant a visit to an orthopedic spine surgeon, it is important to know the difference between the normal aches and pains associated with every day activities, and when to seek treatment for a spine injury that may require medical attention from an expert.
What is a Herniated Disc?
Also known as “slipped” or ruptured discs, herniation occurs when a crack in the hard exterior of the discs in the spine cause some of the soft, gelatinous material inside of the disc to seep out through the opening. The discs act as a sort of cushion between the vertebrae (small bones) that make up the human spine. When one or more of the discs become hardened or cracked, or shift out of place, it can lead to pain, spinal instability, and can potentially affect neighboring nerves, causing movement and mobility impairment as well.
What are the Causes of a Herniated Disc?
The most common cause of ruptured discs is gradual, age related wear and tear, where the discs begin to lose some of their water content over time, making them stiffer, more brittle, and prone to cracks and injury. The source of herniation may not always be clear for every patient. In some cases, a strain or trauma to the lower (lumbar) back can lead to a slipped disc. Herniation is most common in the lower back; however, it can occur in the neck (cervical spine) as well.
Are You at Risk for a Herniated Disc?
While the risk increases with age, anyone can suffer from a herniated disc at any time. Many patients with slipped discs do not experience symptoms and are unaware of their condition at time of diagnosis.
Some common risk factors include:
- Job and occupation
The most common symptoms are pain, numbness and weakness, and in some cases changes in bowel habits.
Contact a back pain and spine surgery expert in Los Angeles today
If you are suffering from a herniated disc or would like a second opinion on a previous diagnosis, call the Los Angeles Spine Group today at 310.321.4333 to schedule an appointment with board certified spine surgeon Dr. Sanjay Khurana.
Next, read more about The Game Changing Developments of Microscopic Spine Surgery