What Is a Herniated Disk and…

What is a herniated disk and what causes it?

The bones of your spine, called vertebrae, are separated by rubbery disks. If one of them tears, you have a “ruptured” disk. When the jelly-like substance inside leaks and pushes on a nearby nerve, it’s called a “herniated” disk.

It’s often hard to know exactly what makes a disk break open. It could be that you lifted something heavy and strained your back. A simple awkward turn or twist could do it, or even a fall or sudden hit to the body. Sometimes it’s just aging. As you get older, your disks start to lose water, which means they don’t flex as well and may tear more easily.

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