The disc in the spine plays an important role by serving as shock absorbers in between the vertebrae of the spinal cord. They will also allow movement of the otherwise stiff spinal vertebrae.
The spinal disc is shaped like a jelly donut, with a tough exterior but softer center. It becomes a herniated disc if the softer center or “jelly” like substance pushes out through a tear or a crack in the exterior part of the disc. When a herniated disc occurs, it can cause irritation to nearby nerves and cause pain, numbness, and tingle in an arm or leg.
A herniated disc can occur on any part of the spinal cord; however the most common occurs in the lower back or the lumbar region and in the neck or the cervical spine. Additionally, the symptoms will also depend on where the herniated disc occurs and what nerves are affected. Some individuals with the disorder may have symptoms while others don’t. Some of the signs and symptoms can include:
- Back pain
- Sciatica – leg of foot pain
- Tingling sensation in the leg or foot
- Weakness in the leg or foot
- In extreme cases, loss of bladder or bowel control may indicate a more serious condition called cauda equine syndrome. This condition resulted from the compression of the spinal nerve roots.
There are factors that affect the development of herniated discs. These include:
Genes – Some people are susceptible to developing herniated disc.
Obesity – Excessive body weight can cause stress on the discs in your lower back.
Occupation – People who engage in heavy physical work or activities are prone to developing herniated discs. Repetitive lifting heavy objects, bending sideways and sudden twisting may also increase the risk of developing this disorder.
The treatment involves physiotherapy, avoiding painful body posture or positions, and following a planned exercise combined with pain medications can improve the condition within a few days or weeks.
If you think you are suffering from Herniated Disc you should seek medical assistance. You may also be entitled to Social Security Disability Benefits. The SSA considered Herniated Disc as a medical condition that would make you eligible for SSDI and SSI. Social Security Administration (SSA) maintains a “Listing of Medical Impairments” (known as the blue book) that automatically qualify you for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI).