Sometimes called a “bulging disc” or “protruding disc”, a herniated disc occurs when a spinal disc’s gelatinous substance protrudes, often into the spinal canal. The intervertebral discs act as shock absorbers in the spine, allow the spine to remain flexible, and absorb the weight of our daily activities. A disc herniation occurs when the fibrous ligament enclosing the disc tears.
Herniated discs most often occur in the cervical (neck) and lumbar (low back) spine. Disc protrusion can irritate the nerve roots of the spine or disrupt spinal cord function. Depending on the location of the herniation a variety of symptoms can occur. Herniated discs are almost always accompanied by persistent pain in the back or neck.
Those with herniated discs in the lumbar or cervical spine may experience signs and symptoms including:
● Persistent back pain
● Persistent neck pain
● Pain that radiates into the arms (Cervical Radiculopathy)
● Pain that radiates into the legs (Lumbar Radiculopathy)