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How Do Herniated Discs Develop?

About This Blog:

  • Before understanding how a herniated disc occurs, it’s important to consider the anatomy of the spine.
  • Spinal discs act like cushions, protecting spinal bones (vertebrae) by absorbing shock sustained from physical activities such as walking, running, twisting, and bending.
  • Dr. Mark Giovanini of NeuroMicroSpine repairs spines that have been affected by herniated discs. In this blog, he explains how this condition develops.

Spinal discs have a softer inner center made of a gelatinous material and a hard outer ring. These parts of the disc provide protection to the spine’s vertebrae by absorbing shock. Unfortunately, there are times an injury to the spine or degenerative condition causes the inner portion of the spinal disc to push through the exterior, causing nearby spinal nerves to become compressed or irritated. This action is called a slipped, or herniated, disc.

Symptoms of a herniated disc include:

  • Pain and numbness along the spine
  • Pain that radiates down the arms or legs
  • Pain that may worsen at night, and while sitting or standing
  • Unexplained muscle weakness
  • Tingling or burning sensation around the affected area of the spine

What Causes Herniated Discs?

As we mentioned previously, damage to a spinal disc can cause the disc’s inner substance to protrude through the tough exterior. This can happen with age, from a physically demanding job, being overweight, a degenerative condition, or trauma to the spine. Herniated discs occur primarily when the outer portion of the spinal disc becomes weakened or torn. A small tear may grow wider over time and cause the inner gel to seep out. This gel substance may compress nearby spinal nerves, which can lead to symptoms of pain and numbness.

If a herniated disc is left untreated, permanent nerve damage can ensue. Rarely, a herniated disc will block nerve impulses to nerves in the lower back and legs, but it can still happen. If this occurs, bowel and bladder function will be detrimentally affected.

If you’re experiencing some of the symptoms mentioned above, call Dr. Mark Giovanini as soon as possible! He will administer a comprehensive patient examination and provide a diagnosis. If you’re diagnosed with a herniated disc, he will work with you to develop a treatment regimen, which may include minimally invasive spine surgery, physical therapy, anti-aging medicine, nutrition, and more!

For more information on minimally invasive spine surgery or to make an appointment with Dr. Giovanini, please call (850) 934-7545 or visit https://www.neuromicrospine.com/request-appointment.

We hope to see you soon!

The advice and information contained in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace or counter a physician’s advice or judgment. Please always consult your physician before taking any advice learned here or in any other educational medical material.