herniated disc usually is caused by wear and tear of
the disc (also called
disc degeneration). As we age, our vertebral discs
lose some of the fluid that helps them maintain flexibility. A herniated disc
also may result from injuries to the spine, which may cause tiny tears or
cracks in the outer layer (annulus or capsule) of the disc. The jellylike
material inside the disc (nucleus) may be forced out through the tears or
cracks in the capsule, which causes the disc to bulge, break open (rupture), or
break into fragments. See a picture of a
Injury to the disc 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 nucleus (the material inside the disc) out through the disc's
outer layer (annulus or capsule).
Activities that are done over and
over again that may stress the lower back, including poor lifting habits,
prolonged exposure to vibration, or sports-related injuries.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
July 21, 2010
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