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Herniated Discs: Understanding the Painful ‘Slip’

Herniated Discs: Understanding the Painful ‘Slip’

Your spine is a remarkable column of bones (vertebrae) that provides stability and lets you move. Between each vertebra lies a shock-absorbing disc, acting like a cushion. These discs have a tough outer ring (annulus fibrosus) and a soft, gel-like center (nucleus pulposus)


A herniated disc, also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, happens when a portion of that soft inner portion pushes out through a tear in the outer layer. This can put pressure on nearby nerves, leading to pain, numbness, and weakness that can radiate down your arms or legs.

Herniated Discs

Causes: Why Discs Herniate

  • Age-related wear and tear: Discs naturally lose some of their water content and flexibility as you age, making them more susceptible to damage.
  • Sudden strain or injury: Lifting something heavy with improper form or a traumatic event like a fall can trigger a herniation.
  • Repetitive motions over time: Jobs involving a lot of bending, twisting, or lifting can increase your risk.

Signs and Symptoms: How to Spot a Herniated Disc

  • Pain: Often sharp and intense, the pain may be in your back or radiate along the path of the affected nerve (legs for a lumbar herniation, arms for a cervical herniation).
  • Numbness or tingling: You might feel these sensations along the affected nerve path.
  • Muscle weakness: The compressed nerve can cause weakness in the muscles it controls

What to Do: Treatment Options

  1. See a physio: An accurate diagnosis is crucial. They’ll rule out other conditions and suggest a care plan.
  2. Rest and pain management: Short-term rest and over-the-counter pain medications (like ibuprofen or naproxen) can help initially.
  3. Custom Orthotics: foot orthotics support the foot and correct incorrect biomechanics such as a misaligned gait. When suffering from a herniated disc, people are often recommended to buy corrective orthotics. This is because back issues often stem from poor foot structure. When these individuals begin wearing the best insoles for Herniated Discs, their weight begins to properly distribute to the right joints, making it easier to walk.

Key Takeaways


If you experience symptoms, it’s essential to see your physio for proper diagnosis and treatment guidance. By listening to your body and following your physio’s advice, you can manage a herniated disc and get back to living a pain-free life.



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