What is a slipped disc?
From too-high heels to poor nutrition, your back can start aching for any number of reasons. Sometimes, when the shock-absorbing discs in your vertebrae herniate or rupture, their gel-like center can press up against and irritate surrounding nerves. The result? You may feel significant pain. However, that’s not a guarantee—many people don’t have any symptoms. Here’s what you need to know to successfully identify (or prevent) a slipped disc.
Why do you have a slipped disc?
Blame the rigors of everyday life. As you age, the fluid in these discs begins to leak out, and they’re prone to damage. As many as 5 percent of people will be saddled with this condition, and it’s more common in men and people over age 30. Here are some more medical conditions that affect men and women differently.
Your arm (or leg) hurts
Because the disc can slip anywhere along the length of your spine, pain may affect other parts of your body—not just your back. “Depending on where the slipped disc is, you may get symptoms in your arm, along your trunk, or in your leg,” says Irene Tien, MD, an emergency medicine physician with the Rowe Telemedicine Network.