Between the vertebrae of your spine are soft discs that let your back twist and bend. One of their main functions is to absorb shocks. A herniated disc occurs when one of these soft discs becomes damaged and bulges out from between the bones. This bulge presses against nerves in your spine.
A herniated disc can cause pain and lead to other symptoms, such as:
- Numbness in the extremities
- Shooting pain down the leg
- Tingling sensations
- Muscle weakness
A disc may herniate due to everyday wear and tear, heavy lifting, or traumatic injury.
Mild cases of herniated discs can typically be treated with rest, medications, injections, and physical therapy. More severe cases of a herniated disc may require surgery.