Lumbar Disc Herniation Dallas, TX

A herniated disc, also known are a ruptured or slipped disc, is a damaged spinal cushion between two bones in the spine (vertebrae). Normally, the gelatinous discs between the vertebrae hold the bones in place and act as shock absorbers, permitting the spine to bend smoothly. When a disc protrudes beyond its normal parameters and its tough outer layer of cartilage cracks, the disc is considered to be herniated.

The inner material of the disc bulges through the torn cartilage, sometimes pressing on a nerve in the spinal canal. This results in back pain, often sciatic pain that extends into the buttocks and travels down the affected leg. Herniated discs occur most frequently in the lumbar (lower) region of the back and are one of the most common causes of such pain. Cervical (neck) discs may also herniate, resulting in pain in the neck and shoulders.

CAUSES OF LUMBAR DISC HERNIATION

During the normal process of aging, the discs in the back lose flexibility and wear down. Additional stress may result in herniation. Such stress may result from obesity, heavy lifting, or sudden traumatic injury. Smoking is also a risk factor for disc herniation.

SYMPTOMS

In addition to pain in emanating from region of the herniation, patients may also experience numbness, tingling, muscle spasms or weakness. The pain that results from a herniated disc is usually worsened by moving and improved by rest. Sudden motions, such as bending or coughing, may elicit sharp, shooting pain.

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