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Lumbar Herniated Disc - Cause

Wear and tear, also called disc degeneration, is the usual cause of a herniated disc camera.gif. As we age, the discs in our back lose some of the fluid that helps them stay flexible. The outer layer of the discs can form tiny tears or cracks. The thick gel inside the disc may be forced out through those cracks and cause the disc to bulge or break open.

This can also happen when you injure your back. Injury can occur from:

  • A sudden heavy strain or increased pressure to the lower back. Sometimes a sudden twisting movement or even a sneeze will force some of the material out.
  • Activities that are done over and over again that may stress the lower back, including poor lifting habits, prolonged exposure to vibration, and sports-related injuries.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 21, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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