Your spinal column is made of up 26 bones (vertebrae) that are cushioned by disks. The disks protect the bones by absorbing the shocks from daily activities like walking, lifting, and twisting.
Each disk has two parts—a soft, gelatinous inner portion and a tough outer ring. Injury or weakness can cause the inner portion of the disk to protrude through the outer ring. This is known as a slipped or herniated disk. This causes pain and discomfort. If the slipped disk compresses one of your spinal nerves, you may also experience numbness and pain along the affected nerve. In severe instances, you may require surgery to remove or repair the slipped disk.
What Are the Symptoms of a Slipped Disk?
You can have a slipped disk in any part of your spine, from your neck to your lower back. The lower back is the most common area for slipped disks, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians. Your spinal column is an intricate network of nerves and blood vessels. A slipped disk can place extra pressure on the nerves and muscles around it.
Symptoms of a slipped disk include:
pain and numbness, most commonly on one side of the bodypain that extends to your arms and/or legspain that worsens at nightpain that worsens after standing or sittingpain when walking short distancesunexplained muscle weaknesstingling, aching, or burning sensations in the affected area.
The types of pain can vary from person to person. See your physician if your pain results in numbness or tingling that affects your ability to control your muscles.