Herniated Disc Causes and Symptoms

Causes of a Herniated Disc

The discs in your spine endure a lot of stress over your lifetime. Issues like trauma to your or an accident can put even more stress on those discs. After a while, the outer annulus later of the disc can crack, and the gel-like material on the inside can be pushed out. This is what is known as a bulging disc and a common cause of back pain. A bulging disc can put additional pressure on the spinal cord and nerves that are entering and exiting you spine and traveling throughout your body. If not addressed, the herniated disc can become more severe and place more pressure on your spinal nerves. This can lead to severe back pain as well as pain in your thighs, buttock, and even your calves and feet.


You may be at more risk of back pain from a herniated disc due to your:

  • Age. The discs in your back become more brittle over time, causing them to lose their structural integrity.
  • Lifestyle. If you don’t exercise and get the right nutrition, you could be putting yourself at risk. Smoking is another risk factor.
  • Poor posture. Bad posture puts more pressure on your discs and can create a rupture sooner.

Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

  • Back pain that becomes worse when you do physical activities like bending or lifting. Some people experience more severe back pain when they do something simple like a cough or sneeze.
  • Pain that goes all the way from your buttocks to your feet.
  • Weakness or lost ability to use your legs.
  • Issues with your bladder or bowel function (this is considered a medical emergency and should be addressed immediately).

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