What is it?
Your backbone, or spine, is made up of 26 bones called vertebrae. In between them are soft disks filled with a jelly-like substance. These disks cushion the vertebrae and keep them in place and protect the bones by absorbing the shocks from daily activities like walking, lifting, and twisting. As you age, the disks break down or degenerate. As they do, they lose their cushioning ability. This can lead to pain if the back is stressed. A herniated disk is a disk that ruptures. This allows the jelly-like center of the disk to leak, irritating the nearby nerves. This can cause sciatica or back pain.
What are the symptoms?
- Pain and numbness, most commonly on one side of the body
- Pain that extends to your arms or legs
- Pain that worsens at night or with certain movements
- Pain that worsens after standing or sitting
- Pain when walking short distances
- Unexplained muscle weakness
- Tingling, aching, or burning sensations in the affected area
- Make sure sure you use safe technique(First sit and then pick something up instead of bending over), when lifting things up.
- Stay active, do regular exercise
- Maintain healthy weight
- Do not sit for prolonged period of time, stand up and stretch
- Avoid bending over while picking heavy objects. Lift from your knees , not from your waist
- Avoid smoking
Things to watch out for
Contact your GP, if you think you have developed initial/mild symptoms of herniated disk. In case the pain is severe or you feel numbness in your butts or legs or can’t pee, immediately call 000