Most often, herniated discs are the result of gradual, age-related wear often referred to as disc degeneration. As we age, our spinal discs lose water content, which makes them less flexible and more prone to rupturing and tearing, even with minor movements and twists. Most people find it difficult to pinpoint the exact cause of a herniated disc, but lifting heavy objects, twisting while lifting and using your back to lift instead of your legs are all suspect.


Aside from age, there are other risk factors that can cause herniated discs. Excess body weight is a factor as it causes extra stress the discs in your lower back. Those who have physically demanding jobs are also at a higher risk for a herniated disc. If you do a lot of bending, lifting and repetitive motion at work, you are at an increased risk. You might also have a genetic predisposition to developing a herniated disc.


You might not suffer any symptoms yet still have a herniated disc. But some herniated discs will come with a tremendous amount of pain. If the herniated disc is in your lower back, you might suffer pain in your legs, buttocks and even in your feet. A herniated disc in your neck may cause pain in the shoulder and arms. People who suffer from a herniated disc may also experience numbness or tingling in the extremities. You might even suffer weakened muscles that may cause you to stumble or impair your ability to lift items.


There are any number of prescription and over-the-counter medications you can take when suffering a herniated disc including ibuprofen, muscle relaxers and cortisone injects. Physical therapy in New Orleans is recommended as your therapist will show you ways to reduce the pain.