Extruded Disc Herniation
What is an extruded disc herniation?
An extruded disc is commonly referred to as a ruptured or herniated disc. Extruded disc herniation is the condition in which an intervertebral disc has become weak and, because of constant pressure, bulges (or herniates) out of the disc space and into the spinal canal. On its own, the extruded disc does not cause any symptoms. However, sometimes, an extruded disc can compress the spinal cord or exiting spinal nerves, causing significant painful symptoms. Some painful symptoms include pain at the location of the nerve site and its corresponding extremity, muscle weakness or tingling, numbness, or a pins and needles feeling.
The most common way to develop a disc extrusion herniation is degenerative, over the span of a lifetime. The risks of developing an extrusion disc herniation increase with a sedentary lifestyle, poor eating habits, excessive weight, and repetitive activities that put pressure on the spine such as bending and lifting. As we age, the intervertebral discs that are meant to cushion our spine with its spongy makeup, begin to deteriorate. Eventually, the discs are weakened and in a state of diminished water and protein, become brittle. The course brittleness of the discs can cause tears in the outer walls of the discs, which allow the discs to herniate. The most common areas to experience an extruded disc herniation is the neck and lower back because these are the areas that allow the most movement and are under the most strain.
If you are in pain and suspect an extruded disc, you should schedule an appointment with a spine specialist to further evaluate your condition. The symptoms of an extruded disc can develop slowly and can worsen over time without treatment. As the symptoms worsen, you will find difficulty with normal daily activities, such running, walking or household cleaning.