What exactly is a herniated vertebral disc?
If someone has a backache, the suspect very often is the vertebral disc. But in fact, a herniated vertebral disc is much less responsible for back pain than what is generally believed.
- Very strong backache (especially in the lower back)
- Radiation of pain in the surrounding areas (esp. the leg)
- Prickling in the affected area
- Symptoms of disturbances or paralysis
- Difficulties at urinating and defecation
Pain can radiate to surrounding areas: If a herniated disc occurs in the lumbar spine, we can for example feel pain in the legs, the feet and even in the big toe. Coughing, sneezing or pressing intensifies the pain.
Causes for a vertebral disc hernia
Our discs do a hard job – day after day – functioning constantly as shock absorbers. Only at night they can recover from their “job”.
Insofar it is understandable that our discs are subject to a natural attrition process. In fact, age is one of the main risk factors for a herniated vertebral disc.
Other factors like physical inactivity, overweight, bad sitting posture and malpositions while carrying or lifting loads favor a herniated vertebral disc. And don’t forget: weak abdominal and back muscles enhance the risk to suffer a herniated vertebral disc, too.