Ruptured Herniated Disc
What is a ruptured herniated disc? This is a question that millions of people ask themselves every year. Why? Because a ruptured herniated disc is making their lives miserable.
Your spine or backbone is made up of vertebrae and discs. The vertebrae is of course made up of bones, but the discs are made of are made of a cartilage substance that is filled with a gel to help cushion your backbone and act as more a less a shock absorber.
The backbone is actually divided into three sections. The cervical section is made up of seven bones, the thoracic section is made up of 12 bones and the lumbar section is made up of 5 bones. Since the lumbar spine is on bottom and receives most of the pressure it is the area where most ruptured herniated disc occur.
At each joint there are ligaments that hold the bones on the backbone together. If enough force is placed on these ligaments they can tear and cause a large amount of pain.
There are also discs between each joint to cushion them and give them protection from the normal force that is applied to them on a daily basis. However, if a force is applied to them greater than they are able to protect the spine from, a ruptured herniated disc can occur.
Because of the constant pressure put on the backbone on a daily basis, the disc between the joints can also begin to wear out over time. For this reason back problems occur in older adults more than in younger individuals. Also, like all bones their density can change because of poor nutrition, disease or type everyday usage.
The vertebral discs in between the joints of the backbone are of course what people are referring to when talking about a ruptured or herniated disc. Since these disc act as a cushion to protect our backbone there can be serious back problems and pain when some sort of rupture or herniation occurs.
What happens that causes an individual so much pain when a herniation occurs is more or less this. The disc is made up of cartilage, but this cartilage is filled with a gel that provides the protection and cushion effect to the overall unit. When the cartilage has so much force placed on it that it gets damaged or begins to wear out and get dry or cracked over the years, some of the gel substance may begin to leak out in some of the most vulnerable areas.
Part of the backbone's function is to protect the nerves which are found beneath it. When a disc ruptures and the gel leaks out it will usually touch these nerves and they will become tender and inflamed. This is where the intense pain comes from and until this problem is solved the pain will continue.
In many cases given the time a ruptured herniated disc will heal itself. Unfortunately, it can take a fairly long period and during this period the individual must be careful not to further injury the disc and give it the time it needs to heal. This is very difficult for most people who have obligations that are hard to do away with such as work or taking care of home duties. For this reason many people require surgery in the end because they are unable to take the time to let the disc heal.
Anyone with a ruptured herniated disc should try other non invasive options before deciding to undergo surgery. Although back surgery has greatly improved in the last few decades it is still a major surgery and has its risks.
Our website has a large amount of information on herniated discs and herniated disc back surgery. We also try to add new articles very often that we feel may be helpful and interesting to any one with this medical problem.