Disk herniation is usually caused by a gradual, aging-related wear and tear called disk degeneration. Also, spinal disk’s tissues lose some amount of water content with aging. Therefore, they become less flexible and more predisposed to tearing or rupturing.
Factors that increase the risk of disk herniation may include:
The most common symptoms of a herniated disk are:
Arm or leg pain – If the herniated disk occurs in the lower back, you will typically feel the intense pain in buttocks, thigh, and calf. The foot also can be involved. If the herniated disk is in the neck, the pain will typically be most intense in the shoulder and arm.
Numbness or tingling – Patients with a herniated disk often feel numbness or tingling in the body region served by the affected nerves.
Weakness – Muscles served by the affected nerves tend to weaken.
A small number of people end up needing surgery to treat a herniated disc. However, most patients do well with simpler treatments, such as:
In some cases, people with herniated disks need surgery. Your physician can suggest this when conservative treatments fail to reduce pain after six weeks. Moreover, surgery is indicated for patients who continue to experience:
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