What is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc occurs when a part of the vertebrae in your spine becomes pushed out of place or displaced. This common spinal condition occurs when you have extra pressure on one or more of your discs. The disc is the cushion that sits between each vertebra in your spine. If a disc is damaged, the cushion may bulge or protrude from its normal position. A Roswell herniated disc occurs most often as people age, but injuries and other medical conditions can also cause it. In some cases, certain medications or medicines can cause herniated discs as well.

What are the symptoms of herniated discs?

Symptoms of a herniated disc include:

  • Severe lower back pain that gets worse with activity
  • Pain on one side of the lower back that travels down to one hip
  • Pain near the buttock (gluteal area)
  • Pain in an arm or leg that worsens when you bend it over or twist it
  • Tenderness around the spine

How does a herniated disc occur?

A herniated disc is a common disorder that affects people of all ages. A herniated disc occurs when the hard outer covering of the disc (the “annulus fibrosis”) bulges out into the spinal canal. This bulging can damage the nerves and other tissues inside the spinal canal, which causes back pain.

Discs are cushions between vertebrae in your spine. They act like shock absorbers to protect your spinal cord from injury. The discs between each pair of vertebrae are called intervertebral discs (IVDs). There are two main types of IVDs: an outer layer called the annulus fibrosis, and a soft inner gel-like substance called nucleus pulposus.

The nucleus pulposus lies within the outer ring of the IVD and acts as a shock absorber for movement between bones in your spine. When there is an injury to this tissue, it may rupture outward, causing herniated disc symptoms.

The most common herniated disc treatment options include;

Physical therapy

Physical therapy is the most common treatment option for a herniated disc. This may include manual therapy, exercise, and heat or cold therapy. Your physical therapist will help you develop a plan to address your pain and recover as quickly as possible. A physical therapist may recommend avoiding activity that aggravates your symptoms, such as lifting heavy objects or standing for long periods.


Medications are commonly used to treat a herniated disc but are sometimes ineffective. Treatment with pain medications is often recommended in the early stages of a herniated disc when symptoms are mild, and the condition is being treated conservatively.


Surgery is an option if physical therapy is ineffective in treating your symptoms or if surgery is necessary to relieve your pain and improve other related conditions due to the herniated disc, such as nerve impingement. Your surgeon will remove part of the disc material that causes irritation. Some surgeons also remove some bone from around the disc to help relieve pressure on nerves in this area.

A herniated disc is a painful condition that occurs when the outer part of a disk moves out of place, causing pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. This can lead to pain and loss of function in various body parts. Herniated discs are most common among people older than 40 years, though they can occur at any age. In some cases, multiple herniated discs may be present. If you suffer from this condition, reach out to Apex Spine and Neurosurgery professionals.