A herniated (slipped) disk occurs when all or part of a disk is forced through a weakened part of the disk. This may place pressure on nearby nerves or the spinal cord.
Lumbar radiculopathy; Cervical radiculopathy; Herniated intervertebral disk; Prolapsed intervertebral disk; Slipped disk; Ruptured disk; Herniated nucleus pulposus: Low back pain - herniated disk; LBP - herniated disk; Sciatica - herniated disk; Herniated disk
The bones (vertebrae) of the spinal column protect nerves that come out of the brain and travel down your back to form the spinal cord. Nerve roots are large nerves that branch out from the spinal cord and leave your spinal column between each vertebra.
The spinal bones are separated by disks. These disks cushion the spinal column and put space between your vertebrae. The disks allow movement between the vertebrae, which lets you bend and reach.
With herniated disk:
- The disk may move out of place (herniate) or break open (rupture) from injury or strain. When this happens, there may be pressure on the spinal nerves. This can lead to pain, numbness, or weakness.
- The lower back (lumbar area) of the spine is the most common area affected by a slipped disk. The neck (cervical) disks are the second most commonly affected area. The upper-to-mid-back (thoracic) disks are rarely involved.
A herniated disk is a cause of radiculopathy. This is any disease that affects the spinal nerve roots.
Slipped disks occur more often in middle-aged and older men, usually after strenuous activity. Other risk factors may include:
- Lifting heavy objects
- Being overweight
- Repetitive bending or twisting the lower back
- Sitting or standing in same position for long hours
- Inactive lifestyle