Torn Disc/Low Back Pain Overview
Torn Disc Or Annular Tear
A torn disc is a micro tear also referred to as an annular tear on the outer annulus (outer ring-like structure) of an intervertebral spinal disc. As we age, our bodies undergo many changes. Similar gradual changes affect the spine’s structures, notably the intervertebral discs. Torn disc can generate back pain that originates from a damaged dehydrated and deteriorated vertebral disc particularly due to degenerative disc disease (DDD). Micro tears or sometimes called an annular tear, can develop in the annulus which is innervated with small nerves. These nerves can become irritated from the torn disc and the inner part of the disc called the nucleus, pressing against these nerves or from fluid leaks out of the disc. Early disc degeneration may not cause severe pain or other symptoms, but when the degeneration becomes advanced, low back pain may occur.
Typically, discogenic pain (pain from disc) is associated with activities that increase the pressure within the intervertebral disc (called intradiscal pressure). Sitting, bending forward, coughing and sneezing can increase low back discogenic pain. Over time this torn disc may continue to tear and start to bulge causing a bulging disc. With the stresses of physical labor or even demanding stress we put on our bodies, a bulging disc may rupture or herniate. A bulging or herniated disc can cause severe leg pain. This leg pain is caused by pinching of the exiting spinal nerves in the low back (called radiculopathy) and may also accompany low back pain, especially while sitting, standing or walking. Low back pain is usually a chronic disorder.