What Can Cause a Herniated Disc?

The spine is made of many different components, including vertebrae. These vertebrae are surrounded by discs that act as a cushion between the vertebrae and the spine. When these discs bulge, slip, or rupture, the liquid within them can leak out into the spinal canal and cause pain. This condition is often referred to as a herniated disc and can be extremely painful.

Herniated discs have three main causes. The first is general wear and tear on the spine. This is also often called degeneration and while it does not always happen to people as they age, aging is often a cause of this type of wear and tear. This is because it is the back and spine that carry and help distribute the weight as people walk, twist, bend, and move. The discs in the spine can become worn out, and over time, can become weaker and more prone to injury.

Herniated discs are not always caused by wear and tear, however. Injuries are a common cause as well. Lifting heavy objects, twisting the back, playing sports, or even being in a car accident can all cause herniated discs. Any injury can place too much pressure on the back, causing the discs to rupture or slip and become injured. These injuries are often referred to as traumatic events.

But injuries do not always have to be a result of a traumatic event to the spine. When the spine and the discs in the spine begin to age and experience wear and tear, injuries can happen more easily. This cause of herniated discs is a combination of both wear and tear and an injury, even though the injury does not have to be significant.

Herniated discs can happen to anyone at any time. In some cases, this could be due to a traumatic injury, such as when a young person is playing a sport. Other times it may simply be because the discs are aging and experiencing wear and tear. Sometimes, it is a combination of both factors that can cause a disc to become herniated.

Not all herniated discs are painful. Typically, the most pain is felt when the herniated disc pushes up against a nerve which, if left untreated, can cause further injury over time. Because of this, it is important that any person experiencing pain in their back seek treatment right away to prevent further damage.