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What causes a herniated disk?

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Although a violent injury can damage a disk, problems with disks are often caused by the normal aging process. Or it's caused by everyday activities, such as lifting heavy objects the wrong way, stretching too hard during a tennis volley, or slipping and falling on an icy sidewalk. These can cause the fibrous outer covering of the disk to break or bend to the point that it presses on a spinal nerve, especially if disk material sticks out. Sometimes, a disk swells, tears, or degenerates without any apparent cause.

SOURCES: 

Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc. 

The Mayo Clinic.

Reviewed by David Zelman on April 21, 2017

SOURCES: 

Medtronic Sofamor Danek, Inc. 

The Mayo Clinic.

Reviewed by David Zelman on April 21, 2017

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What is degenerative disk disease?

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