Health

Possible Complications of a Herniated Disk

In Caldwell, New Jersey, people who are in occupations that require lifting heavy weights are at risk of herniated disc. A spinal disc helps to cushion the spinal cord against external trauma. The spinal disc structure comprises an outer annulus, which is a rubbery and tough structure, and an inner soft nucleus, which is jelly-like. When a spinal disc is herniated, it means that the disc has undergone wear and tear, which makes it move out of its normal position. A herniated disk can affect any part of the spinal cord.

When you have a herniated disc, the disc can injure your spinal cord and cause you problems like paralysis, depending on the level of the spinal cord that is affected. Most people with a herniated disk are asymptomatic and they do not require any treatment. However, if you are experiencing problems like numbness and tingling, you can seek Caldwell herniated disk treatment from a specialist. Before treatment, the doctor will examine you and take images of your spinal cord to confirm the diagnosis.

How Does a Herniated Disk Present?

The lower back in the region of the lumbar spine is the most common area where a herniated disk occurs. However, it is not uncommon for people to get a herniated disc on the cervical spine around your neck. The symptoms of a herniated disk will depend on which part of the spinal cord is affected.  In most cases, a herniated disk causes symptoms on one side of the body.

When the herniated disc is on your lumbar spine, you will experience numbness and tingling on one side of your lower limb from the buttocks to the calf area of your leg. You may also experience pain that can be dull or sharp and with a gradual onset. Because the nerves that supply the muscles of the lower limbs are affected, you may experience weakness that can put you at risk of falling and being unable to walk.

If the herniated disc is in the cervical spine of the neck, you may experience pain in the neck that radiates to the arm and forearm of one side. The nerve damage may also make your upper limbs become weak such that you are unable to hold onto items. When you experience these symptoms, it is advisable to seek medical attention to reduce the risk of getting severe complications like paralysis.

What Causes Herniated Disk?

The most common cause of a herniated disk is the wear and tear that occurs as your body ages. As you age, your spinal discs lose their flexibility, and therefore they can easily break or rupture with less force. Another cause of a herniated disk is trauma to the back that can injure the disc causing it to move out of its normal position.

Your risk of getting a herniated disc increases if you lift heavy loads using your back. When lifting heavy items, it is advisable to let your thighs and legs bear more weight than your back. Being overweight also puts a lot of pressure on your back and this can push your spinal disc out of its normal position. Some people have a genetic predisposition to a herniated disc. Smoking causes vasoconstriction of the blood vessels that supply the spinal discs;\ this makes them weak and easily breakable.

What Are the Complications of Herniated Disc?

When you have a herniated disk you may develop chronic pain that does not heal and this reduces your quality of life. You can also get cauda equina syndrome if the nerves in your back are injured. The nerves that supply your gastrointestinal and urinary systems can get injuries and this can make you get bowel or urinary incontinence. You can also develop saddle anesthesia which reduces the sensation of the inner thighs, calf, and rectal muscles.

A herniated disc is a condition that develops when your spinal disc moves out of position.  This condition presents with pain, numbness, and weakness of the lower and upper limbs depending on the part of the spinal cord that is affected. You can prevent serious complications of herniated disc by seeking early treatment when you notice any symptoms of a herniated disc.