Herniated Disc – Causes and Symptoms

Causes of a Herniated Disc 

A herniated disc, or bulging disc, occurs when part of the spinal disc squeezes through a gap in the surrounding tissues. The disc pinches a nerve or the spinal cord (in the neck). This can cause pain, weakness and numbness in the arms or legs.

A herniated disc can be caused by a sudden injury, such as falling or lifting something heavy. It can also happen as your spinal discs change with age.

Symptoms of Herniated Disc

The most common symptoms of a herniated disc are: 

  • Sharp, shooting pain down an arm or leg, often with neck or back pain
  • Numbness or weakness in the arms or legs
  • Losing bladder or bowel control

If you can't control your bladder or bowels, see a doctor right away. You might need emergency surgery.