A condition that occurs when there is a rupture in the cartilage surrounding a vertebral disc, causing the disc to abnormally bulge out from its normal position in the vertebral column. This tends to be most common in the lower spine area.
This condition may occur when discs lose their water content and become flatter, providing less cushion in the affected area. As a result, the inside part of the disk may tear through the outer cushioning that causes the abnormal bulge.
Herniated discs may be caused by automobile accidents or other types of crashes where trauma is exerted on the spine. When an individual is in an automobile accident, their spine may be put under too much pressure to where one or more of their discs bluge out of the normal position.
Symptoms of a herniated disc include differing amounts of pain in the affected area, depending on how large the herniation is as well as other similar factors. Numbness and tingling (often in the neck and arms) may occur due to the pressure a herniated disc exerts against one or more of the spinal nerves.
Common procedures for a herniated disc include physical practices, such as spine stretching, physical therapy techniques and using hot and cold packs to help relieve muscle spasms. Muscle relaxants and other pain relievers may be prescribed as well.
If an individual does not respond to other treatments, there are options for surgical procedures. This can include: