The discs of the spine function as shock absorbers and they also separate the vertebrae (bones) that comprise the spine, serving as “cushions”. With their jelly-like structure, it is possible for one of these discs to bulge, potentially rupturing and resulting in what’s called a herniated disc. There are various symptoms associated with the condition, which vary depending on where the herniation occurs in the spine.
The cervical (neck) area of the spine is less prone to disc herniation than the lumbar (lower back) area of the spine due to the fewer discs and the comparably less amount of force that’s applied to the spine. Should a cervical disc become herniated in the cervical spine, it will more than likely involve pinching or compression of a nerve. Hence, the symptoms may involve pain in the shoulders, a feeling of weakness in the muscles of the upper arms, finger numbness, pain radiating down the arm, or reduced strength when attempting to grip.
Herniated discs typically develop in the lumbar spine and they will affect the extremities in the lower body. A person may experience weakness in the legs, an inhibited gait, numbness in the feet and toes, or pain radiating down the leg. Herniated discs in the lumbar spine may also cause serious problems such as incontinence.
This update is brought to you by the Cantor Spine Institute, a minimally invasive spine surgery center located in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. We utilize groundbreaking ultrasonic minimally invasive spine surgery techniques to treat a number of cervical and lumbar spine conditions including cervical disc herniation, ossification of the posterior longitudinal ligament, spondylolisthesis, and more. For more information or to schedule a complimentary MRI review, please call 954-567-1332.