The spine is made up of many bones called vertebrae. These are roughly circular and between each vertebra is a disc. The discs are made of strong rubber-like tissue which allows the spine to be fairly flexible. A disc has a stronger fibrous outer part, and a softer jelly-like middle part called the nucleus pulposus.

A spinal disc herniation is a medical condition affecting the spine in which a tear in the outer, fibours ring of an intervertebral disc allows the soft, central portion to bulge out beyong the damaged outer rings.

Herniated disc symptoms

herniated disc treatmentNerve root pain is pain that occurs because a nerve coming from the spinal cord is pressed on (trapped) by a prolapsed disc, or is irritated by the inflammation caused by the prolapsed disc. Although the problem is in the back, you feel pain along the course of the nerve in addition to back pain. Therefore, you may feel pain down a leg to the calf or foot. Nerve root pain can range from mild to severe, but it is often worse than the back pain. With a prolapsed disc, the sciatic nerve is the most commonly affected nerve.

A prolapsed disc often causes severe lower back pain. The disc often presses on a nerve root which can cause pain and other symptoms in a leg. In most cases, the symptoms ease off gradually over several weeks.

 

Herniated disc treatment

  • The usual advice is to do normal activities as much as possible.
  • Painkillers may help.
  • Physical treatments such as spinal manipulation may also help.
  • Surgery may be an option if the symptoms persist.