Herniated disk

Other names: Ruptured disk

A Herniated disk refers to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (disks) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine. A spinal disk is a little like a jelly donut, with a softer center encased within a tougher exterior. Sometimes called a slipped disk or a ruptured disk, a Herniated disk occurs when some of the softer "jelly" pushes out through a crack in the tougher exterior. A Herniated disk can irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, numbness, or weakness in an arm or leg.



Disk Herniation is most often the result of aging-related wear and tear called disk degeneration. As you age, your spinal disks lose some of their water content making them less flexible and more prone to tearing or rupturing even with minor strain.



Rarely, disk Herniation can compress the entire cauda equina. Emergency surgery may be required to avoid permanent weakness or paralysis.

Preparing for Your Appointment

Before your appointment, prepare by noting down details about your symptoms and be ready to answer questions about your condition from your doctor.

Tests and Diagnosis

Imaging tests like X-rays, CT scans, and MRIs are used to confirm the location of the Herniated disk and see which nerves are affected. Nerve tests like Electromyograms can help pinpoint nerve damage.

TREATMENTs and Drugs

Conservative treatment often relieves symptoms for most people with a Herniated disk. Medications, therapy, and surgery are options depending on the severity of symptoms.


Exercise, maintaining good posture, and keeping a healthy weight can help prevent a Herniated disk.


Identifying pain triggers, managing stress, and seeking counseling can help cope with pain related to a Herniated disk.


  1. What is a Herniated Disk?

A problem with one of the rubbery cushions between vertebrae in the spine.

  1. What are common symptoms of a Herniated Disk?

Arm or leg pain, numbness or tingling, weakness.

  1. What are some risk factors for developing a Herniated Disk?

Excess weight, physically demanding jobs, genetics.

  1. When should you seek medical attention for a possible Herniated Disk?

If pain travels down your arm or leg accompanied by numbness, tingling or weakness.

  1. How is a Herniated Disk diagnosed?

Through physical exams and imaging tests like MRI.

  1. What are some conservative treatments for a Herniated Disk?

Avoiding painful positions, exercise regimens, and pain medications.

  1. When might surgery be considered for a Herniated Disk?

If conservative treatments fail to improve symptoms after six weeks.

  1. How can one prevent a Herniated Disk?

By exercising regularly, maintaining good posture, and keeping a healthy weight.

  1. What complications can arise from a Herniated Disk?

Compression of cauda equina leading to emergency surgery in rare cases.

  1. How can individuals cope with pain related to a Herniated Disk?

Identifying triggers, managing stress, seeking counseling for psychological support.