According to Neurosurgeon Jobyna Whiting, herniated discs are very common causes of back pain. She explains there is not a lot of space where the nerves are “and when that little piece of disc comes out, it may seem very small but it can brush up against a nerve and irritate or even can compress the nerve and actually start to damage it”.
This pain, called radiculopathy, is commonly referred to by a lot of patients as either sciatica or as a pinched nerve. These symptoms can be noticed “radiating down the patient’s leg in some specific pattern. That means that the nerve that’s been pinched up in the back is really just responsible for innervation along that line,” the doctor says.
Talk to us about a herniated disc this is a phrase that people hear all the time is this a herniated disc a traumatic injury or is it caused by repetitive stress so that’s a great question Andrew and herniated discs are something I deal with on a daily basis and the answer to your question is really yes both if we look here you can see the blue area in between the bones and that’s your disc that’s softer and has some sort of elasticity that allows for you to have shock absorbency it’s generally held within a very tight boundary as we age as we have stresses on our bodies that boundary can start to thin out and it allows a herniation or a little piece of that soft inner core to come out the problem with that is that there’s not a lot of extra space where your nerves are and so when that little piece of disc comes out it may seem very small but it can brush up against a nerve and irritate it or it can even compress the nerve and actually start to damage it and when you feel pain in your lower back because it is the spine you can feel pain in other areas as well well yes so typically the type of pain that you have there is what we call radiculopathy and what a lot of patients tend to refer to as either sciatica or as pinched nerve all right and what that does is even though the problems in the spine the patient notices symptoms radiating down their leg in some specific pattern and what that means is the nerve that’s being pinched up in the back is really just responsible for innervation along that line