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Causes and Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

A herniated disc, which is also sometimes referred to as a slipped disc or a ruptured disc, occurs when the soft center of the disc pushes out through a tear in its tough exterior. This type of injury can irritate the nearby nerves, causing pain, numbness, and weakness in an arm or leg. However, not everyone experiences symptoms and most do not require surgery to correct the effects of this injury.

Causes of Herniated Discs

A herniated disc can be caused by a number of things, including age-related wear and tear, lifting large and heavy objects, or even falling. Here are some of the most common risk factors:

  • Weight: Individuals with excess body weight are at a higher risk for a herniated disc. The weight puts extra stress on the discs in the lower back.
  • Occupation: Individuals who have physically demanding jobs that involve repetitive lifting, pulling, pushing, bending sideways, and twisting can sustain a herniated disc and develop painful back problems.
  • Genetics: In some cases, individuals might be predisposed to developing this condition.


Although not everyone develops symptoms that are commonly associated with a herniated disc, many more do. Here are some of the most frequently experienced signs and symptoms:

  • Arm and/or leg pain: Depending on where your herniated disc originates, this will dictate which areas of the body are likely to be affected. If your herniated disc is in your lower back, you will probably experience pain in your buttocks, thigh, calf, and even parts of the foot. If your herniated disc is in your neck, the pain will shoot into the shoulder and arm.
  • Numbness and tingling: Another common sign of a herniated disc is numbness or tingling in the body part connected to the affected nerves.
  • Weakness: The muscles that are served by the affected nerves will likely weaken, causing you to stumble, and possibly impacting your ability to lift or hold items.

In more serious cases, conditions can worsen, causing some of the following symptoms, which require emergency medical attention:

  • Bladder or bowel problems that cause incontinence
  • Saddle anesthesia, which affects sensation in the inner thighs, back of legs, and area around the rectum
  • Worsening symptoms that increase discomfort to a point that prevents you from performing daily activities

Personalized Herniated Disc Treatments

If you are suffering pain or numbness in your neck, lower back, arm, or leg, you might be experiencing a herniated disc. At QualCare Rehabilitation, our Houston doctors can make an adequate diagnosis of your pain and use safe, non-surgical procedures to alleviate the excruciating pain you are experiencing from your herniated disc. Let us guide you through a personalized treatment plan that helps make a successful recovery possible.

Contact us for more information at (713) 588-0042 or visit us today. We welcome walk-in and would be happy to discuss your situation at length in a case evaluation.