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Healthy Balance

Herniated Discs and Lower Back Pain

I’ve dealt with on-again off-again lower back pain for several years. Thankfully, I’ve never had a herniated disc, but just the words make me cringe.

What Is a Herniated Disc?

Discs are the circular cushions between the bones in your spine. They have an outer portion and an inner portion. When a herniated disc — also known as a slipped disc or ruptured disc — occurs, the outer portion tears, and the inner portion comes out into the spinal canal.

“Discs take the pressure when we jump and when we sit,” explains spine surgeon Hamid Hassanzadeh, MD. “That’s where you’re more prone to injuries and more prone to herniation or rupture.”

Preventing Lower Back Pain

Of course, lower back pain doesn’t necessarily mean you have a herniated disc. My pain came from a combination of muscular and structural factors, including mild scoliosis and arthritis and a weak core.

“So, my biggest recommendation to prevent back pain and disc disease is to keep your core muscles strong and stay active,” says Hassanzadeh.

Learn more about preventing and treating herniated discs and lower back pain in this week’s podcast.

Listen to the podcast:

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