A herniated disc occurs when the soft core (nucleus pulposus) of an intervertebral disc in the spinal cord pushes outward. The intervertebral discs are flexible, disc-shaped structures between the vertebrae of the spine that act as shock absorbers and allow movement.
A herniated disc can be caused by wear, injury, or degeneration of the disc. When the soft core penetrates the outer fibrous ring, it can press on nerve roots or the spinal cord, causing pain, numbness, tingling, and muscle weakness. Symptoms vary depending on which region of the spine is affected.
The most common areas for herniated discs are the lumbar spine (lumbar spine) and the cervical spine (cervical spine). Diagnosis is often made through clinical examination, but imaging tests such as MRI or CT can help confirm it.
Treatment can be conservative or surgical, depending on the severity of symptoms. Conservative measures may include physical therapy, pain relief and anti-inflammatory medications, and rest. Surgical intervention may be necessary if conservative methods are not sufficient or if there is evidence of severe nerve compression. It is important that the treatment is tailored to the individual patient.