Herniated Disc: What Are the Symptoms and Causes?

All bones forming the spine are held together by discs. The discs are like small pillows, round with tough outer layers surrounding the nucleus. Herniated disc in Houston clarifies that the discs are located in the spinal column of each vertebra and act as a shock absorber for your spinal bones.

A herniated disc is that disc fragment pushed into the spinal canal through a rupture or tear in the annulus. Discs that get herniated are those in their early stages of degeneration.

The spinal canal has a small space that is inadequate for displaced, herniated disc fragments, and spinal nerves. The displacement makes the discs press against spinal nerves, causing you pain which can be severe in most cases.

Herniated discs can happen in any part of your spine, but it’s more common in the lower back or the lumbar spine area. It also occurs in the cervical spine (neck). You experience pain depending on the affected part of your spine.

What Are the Causes of Herniated Discs?

Usually, if you suffer an injury or excessive strain on your spinal region. Disc materials can also degenerate naturally as you get older, weakening the ligaments holding the discs in place. With the progression of the degeneration, even a minor twist or spraining movement can make the disc rupture.

Certain people are more vulnerable to herniated disc problems and can suffer this condition in several places along their spine. Research shows that predisposition for this condition exists in families where there are previously affected members.

What Are the Symptoms of Herniated Discs?

Symptoms usually vary depending on the part of your spine that is affected and the size of that herniation.

  • If the disc is pressed on your spinal nerves, then you may be having a low backache or even experience no pain at all. There can also be pain, weakness, or numbness in the area of the body where the nerves travel. In most cases, herniated discs come with low back pain.
  • You can experience low back pain on the left or right side of the affected area. The pain is like a sharp electric shock and is severe when sitting, walking, or standing. The pain worsens when you straighten your leg.
  • You can experience cervical (neck) pain because of nerve compression. This includes a sharp pain in your neck or between your shoulder blades. The pain radiates down your arm going to your hand or your fingers. You can also experience tingling or numbness in your arm or shoulder. This pain increases when you make certain neck movements or positions.

When to Seek Treatment

The majority of herniated disc issues don’t need surgery. With time, these symptoms improve for 9/10 people. However, it can take a few days or weeks to see that improvement.

Consult your doctor for testing and proper diagnosis. This ensures that you get the right treatment in time. Book an appointment with a spine specialist like a neurosurgeon if your symptoms persist for more than four weeks.


When you notice these symptoms, seek urgent evaluation and radiographic imaging to determine the nature of your herniated disc problems. This ensures you get the proper treatment and medication. Book an appointment for an exam with a spine specialist.