Your spine is made of vertebrae and discs. Your vertebrae are bone. In between each vertebra is a disk. The disks have a hard exterior that encircles jelly-like fluid in the center of each disk.
The disks act as shock absorbers to prevent friction between your vertebrae, as stabilizers to help your spine stay in place, and allow your spine to be flexible.
A herniated disc occurs when you experience an injury to your spine or degeneration of your spine. This breakdown allows the gelatinous center of your disk to seep outward and cause pain by touching your nerves.
What Does a Herniated Disk Feel Like?
Symptoms of a herniated disk vary widely depending on the person. It also depends on the severity of the hernia and the location of the herniated disk.
If you feel sharp pains accompanied by numbness or tingling in your legs, this could signify a herniated disk. You might also have muscle weakness, cramping, or muscle spasms in your lower back and legs.
Pains that feel like electrical shocks and are severe regardless of standing, sitting, or lying down might also be a sign of a herniated disk.
If you experience any of these symptoms or have severe back pain, speak with a professional to schedule a consultation for further exploration.
What Activities Should I Avoid with a Herniated Disk?
If you suspect you have a herniated disk or your doctor has confirmed this diagnosis, there are a few things you should avoid.
- Avoid lifting heavy objects or bending at the waist at any time.
- Avoid wearing high-heeled shoes. They put pressure on your lower back and send your spine out of alignment.
- Focus on workouts that strengthen your abdomen and core muscles. Avoid lifting heavy weights or strenuous cardio.
- Avoid smoking as it weakens your disks.
- Practice good posture while sitting, standing, and walking. Avoid slouching and bending forward for extended periods.
- Try not to sit in uncomfortable, non-ergonomic chairs or seats for a long time.
If you suspect that you have a herniated disk, schedule an appointment with the trusted professionals at Todd J. Albert, MD Orthopedic Surgery.