Torn Disc/Discogenic Low Back Pain Causes & Symptoms
What Causes A Torn Disc/Discogenic Low Back Pain?
A torn disc can causes little to none or significant back pain. Just like other parts of the body, each intervertebral disc has a nerve supply. A torn disc generally refers to a tear in the annular tissue (the outer layer of the spinal disc). A torn disc is typically caused by a combination of disc degeneration and trauma. Discs are comprised of two parts: the annulus fibrosus and nucleus pulposus (gel-like interior). The nucleus pulposus is void of nerves. However, the outer third of the annulus fibrosus contains nerve fibers. With trauma or normal degeneration of the spine, the disc can develop micro-tears in the outer layers of the annulus fibrosus. These tears can expose the nerve fibers in the annulus and the spinal nerve to the inner nucleus pulposus. The nerve fibers and spinal nerves can become irritated by the acidity of the inner degenerative nucleus leaking out through an annular tear thus producing a great deal of pain. Discogenic low back pain is the clinical term for pain originating from a damaged vertebral disc, particularly due to degenerative disc disease. Degenerative disc disease is the natural breakdown of a spinal disc caused by the natural daily stresses and minor injuries that cause spinal discs to gradually lose water as the rigid outer shell of a disc, weakens. As discs weaken and lose water, they begin to collapse.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Torn Disc/Discogenic Low Back Pain?
When degenerative disc disease and annular tears become prevalent the following symptoms are associated with this condition:
- Pain in the area of the tear in the low back. This pain can travel into the buttocks and thighs not usually past the patient’s knees.
- Numbness and or tightness can be related to disc tears or bulging and
herniated disc. If the disc bulges, extrudes or herniates into the spinal canal and compresses the spinal nerves, the patient can experience numbness in the arms or legs.
- Weakness is a very commonly associated symptom resulting from a spinal nerve being compressed or irritated. The patient experiences weakness in their buttock, thigh, hamstrings or leg buckles and they lose control of the leg temporarily.
- Tingling can be found in patient’s legs or feet when experiencing degenerative disc disease, annular tears or herniated disc.