The spine is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. These bones have soft, flexible discs in between them to cushion and allow painless movement. When one of these discs slides out of place—whether because it has ruptured or simply fallen out—the condition is called a herniated disc.
A disc herniation may also be called a protrusion, extrusion, prolapse, rupture, a “slipped disc,” or bulging disc.
Disc herniations would not cause any real problem on their own, but when they move from their normal positions, they tend to press against nearby spinal nerves. This is what causes pinched nerves that vary in their severity of pain.
The Pain From a Herniated Disc
Many of the people who get herniated discs are already suffering from spinal stenosis, a condition that limits the space surrounding the spinal nerves. Herniated discs can also occur because of an accident like a bad fall or simply because of extended straining. Everyone’s spinal discs get worn out and less elastic as we age, but discs should not cause pain unless ruptured or herniated.
How much pain one experiences with a herniated disc entirely depends on its position. If the disc presses on a nerve, constant pain in the neck, back, arms, or legs can result. It could also cause only occasional pain in affected areas, or only get worse with any straining. In extreme cases, loss of bladder and bowel control may be experienced. This is one sign of of cauda equina syndrome, a serious neurological condition that requires immediate emergency treatment.
Other symptoms of a herniated disc can include shooting pains in the stomach or limbs, intense muscular pain or weakness, or just a tingling numbness in the affected area. If a ruptured disc is not pressing on a nerve, little or no pain may be experienced.
If you are experiencing debilitating complications due to a herniated disc, you may qualify for long-term disability benefits from your insurance company. If your LTD claim has been denied or terminated, contact Mr. Ortiz’s office at 850-898-9904 for legal assistance from an experienced disability attorney.