Herniated Disc: The Symptoms, Risk Factors, and Prevention

Back pain often sneaks up on you when you least expect it. A herniated disc is one of the most common signs of back pain in Reston. Adults have 24 bones (vertebrae) in their spine. Some of them have soft discs that act as cushioning and are made up of a jelly-like substance. The disks make it possible to bend over and move around. If, however, a disk between two vertebrae slips out of place, it irritates the nerves around it and triggers extreme pain. The condition is called a herniated, slipped, or ruptured disk. The following are a few indications that you may have a herniated disc in Reston.

  1.     Pain when Sitting

While sitting may seem like a simple activity, it exerts a lot of pressure on the lower spinal discs. If you have a herniated disc, the increased pressure could cause tremendous pain.

  1.     Numbness or a Tingling Sensation

If you have a herniated disc, you are likely to experience a tingling sensation or radiating numbness in the affected area.

  1.     Leg Pain

If you have pain that radiates into your legs, you may have a herniated disk. Your lower back discs typically herniate in the back and lateral region which is close to your spinal nerve roots. It may affect the nerves through chemical irritation or direct compression. When the function of the affected root is affected, you may feel a burning pain along with weakness, numbness, or a tingling sensation in your leg, thigh, or foot.

  1.     Pain that Gets Worse with Specific Activities

If you have lower back pain that gets worse when you perform certain activities, you may have a herniated disc. It may be aggravated by the following activities:

  • Coughing
  • Sneezing
  • Bending down or forward
  • Pulling or pushing heavy objects
  1.     Weakness

The muscles served by your affected nerves are likely to become weak. You may have trouble lifting and holding items.

What are the Risk Factors?

Even though anyone can get a herniated disc, certain factors increase your risk of getting it. They include the following:

  • Genetics

You may inherit a predisposition to getting a herniated disc. If other members of your family have herniated discs, you are likely to have the same problem.

  • Weight

If you are overweight or obese, you may be putting excessive stress on your lower back discs.

  • Occupation and Hobbies

If you have physically demanding hobbies or jobs, you are at a high risk of back problems. Repetitive pushing, pulling, bending, and lifting increases your risk of getting a herniated disc.

  • Smoking

Smoking reduces the supply of oxygen to your discs. They are, therefore, likely to break down faster.

Prevention Tips

  • Maintain good posture to minimize the pressure on your discs and spine. Keep your back straight especially when sitting for a long time.
  • Regular exercise
  • Avoid using tobacco products
  • Maintain a healthy weight to reduce the pressure on your spine

You can get herniated discs in any part of your spine. They cause numbness, pain, or weakness making it difficult to go on with your daily activities. Seek medical attention as soon as possible to keep the symptoms from getting worse.