Herniated Discs: What You Need to Know

As a Pain Doctor will tell you: Spinal Discs are extremely important. They act like shock absorbers, and render our spine flexible. To that end, it is easy to understand that any problems with these discs can have serious knock-on effects, & so the sooner you visit a Pain Doctor & receive an Accurate Diagnosis & a Personalised Treatment Plan, the better!

In a Nutshell

A herniated disk describes an issue with one of the disks (rubbery cushions) that lie between the vertebrae (bones) that stack up to form our spine. Spinal disks comprise a jelly-like, soft nucleus (centre), which is enclosed in a strong rubbery annulus (exterior). Often referred to as a ruptured or slipped disk, a herniated disk comes about when some of the nucleus seeps out through a tear in the disk’s exterior (annulus) [1].

Which Part of the Spine Are Susceptible to Herniated Discs?

“A herniated disk, which can occur in any part of the spine, most often occurs in the lower back, although it can also occur in the neck. Depending on where the herniated disk is, it can result in pain, numbness, or weakness in an arm or leg” [1]

Did you Know?

  Generally speaking, herniated disks only affect one side of the body [1].

 What Are the Signs & Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?

 The answer to this question is: it depends on what part of the spine the disc is situated, and whether the disk is impinging a nerve. Here is a list of common signs and symptoms:

  • Leg or Arm Pain: If your herniated disk is in your lower back: along with pain in your lumbar spine (back), you will normally experience pain in your calf, thigh and buttocks

If the herniated disk is in your cervical spine (neck), you will likely experience greater pain in your arm or shoulder. The pain is frequently described as burning or sharp.

  • Tingling or Numbness: Radiating numbness or tingling in the region of the body which linked to the impacted nerves
  • Weakness: The muscles which are linked to the impacted nerves, are inclined to become weaker. This can result in an inability to hold or lift things properly. Moreover, it can make you stumble over [1]

 When to Contact a Pain Doctor

 If you are experiencing neck or back pain radiating down your arm or leg, or if you also have weakness, tingling or numbness, call or message to book an online or in-person appointment with an experienced Pain Consultant. Do not let your symptoms get worse, and reach the stage that you cannot live and work without pain.


[1]. Mayo Clinic (2022). “Herniated Disks.”