What is a hernia or herniated disc?
With a hernia there’s extra pressure on the nerves in your back, which causes pain. People who have a hernia usually also have pain radiating to their arms or legs, aside from the back pain.
What are symptoms of a herniated disc?
- Back pain
- Pain radiating to the legs or arms
- Numb feeling in hands, feet, arms or legs
- Loss of strength in arms or legs
Is a herniated disc serious and should I see a doctor?
A herniated disc often isn’t dangerous. There are different ways to treat a herniated disc, contact your doctor to assess the hernia and discuss treatment options.
Contact your doctor:
- For treatment alleviating the pain
Immediately contact a doctor:
- When there’s loss of strength in arms or legs
- When there’s a numb feeling in hands, feet, arms or legs
- When the pain radiates to the arms or legs
What can I do about a herniated disc myself?
- Don’t strain your back too much
- Keep moving, but know your limits
- To prevent a hernia:
- Try to avoid lifting only with your back
- Lift heavy objects carefully and slowly
- Train your back muscles
- You could use a Tylenol for your pain. Always read the patient package insert first!
How does a herniated disc affect my body?
The nerves in your spinal cord are held together by the vertebrae and between the vertebrae by sturdy cartilage-rings, when a disc herniates there’s a small tear in such a ring. That allows the elastic casing of the spinal nerves to bulge out, which puts pressure on the surrounding nerves. This causes back pain, but can also cause pain in arms and legs, because the nerves of your arms and legs also pass through your spinal cord.