4 Facts about Herniated Discs

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Discs are small, circular cushions of soft tissue that are situated between the bones (vertebrae) of the spine. These cushions are compressible and act as shock absorbers for the vertebrae. When discs bulge from their proper places between the bones, this condition is described as a herniated disc. Depending on which disc is herniated and how much it bulges out, the amount of pain associated with this condition can vary. Herniated discs can also lead to tingling or numbness in the legs, feet, and arms, among other undesirable symptoms. Read on to learn four more facts about herniated discs.

  1. Herniated discs result from a weakness in the disc. When a disc loses water content, it becomes flatter and therefore provides less cushioning to the spine. The softer inside part of the disc will then push through the weaker outer portion. This causes pain by leaking inflammatory chemicals or compressing a nerve root of the spinal cord.
  2. Some people are at a higher risk for developing a herniated disc. Those in their thirties and forties have shown to have a higher incidence of this condition. Suffering any trauma from a fall or accident also increases your risk. Certain jobs that require heavy lifting on a regular basis or any acute strain on the back may lead to a higher risk.
  3. Herniated discs can be treated in a variety of ways. Your physician may decide to treat your condition with physical therapy, medications, interventional spine care (steroid injections or minimally invasive surgery), or with an open surgical procedure such as spinal fusion . The course of treatment depends on the severity and location of the herniation.
  4. It is possible to prevent this condition. Practicing good posture, maintaining a healthy weight, exercising regularly, and avoiding high-heeled shoes are all ways to help prevent the pain and inflammation that comes with a herniated disc.

West Hills Hospital & Medical Center has the capability and expertise to provide our community with the spine treatment and surgery that their needs require. If you would like to learn more about our services, please contact our friendly staff at (818) 676-4000.

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