Anatomy: – the discs betveen the vertebrates allow the spine to flex or bend. Discs also act as shock absorberts. Discs are composed of a tick outer ring of cartilage (annulus fibrosus) and an inner gel-like substance (nucleus pulposus)
Cause: -A disc herniates or rupures when part of the center nucleus pushes trought the outer edge of the disc and back toward the spinal canal. This puts pressure on the nerves. Spinal nerves are very sensitive to even slight amounts of pressure, which can result pain, numbness, tingling, weakness in one or both limb,etc.
- Protrusion – when a small swelling appears
- Prolapse – when the swelling is on the verge of bursting
- Rupture – when the content of the disc penetrates the annulus fibrosus
What are the symptoms of herniated disc?
- Electric shock pain – goes down in limbs. When the compression occurs in the neck region the shock goes down in your arms, when the compression occurs in the low back region, the shock goes down your legs.
- Patient often have: tingling, numbness, or pins and needles
- Because of the nerve irritation, signals from the brain may be interrupted causing muscle weakness.
- In very serious cases – cauda equina syndrome- the patient should see the doctor immediatelly. This is a case of emergency, if you have problems urinating, or if you have numbness around your genitals.
A physical examination and MRI, or CT or electromyography will help determine which nerve roots are affected, and how seriosly.