What is a herniated disc? The bones (vertebrae) that form the Herniated lumbar disc HLD in your back are cushioned by small, spongy discs.

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When these discs are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for the spine and keep the spine flexible. But when a disc is damaged, it may bulge or break open. This is called a herniated disc. It may also be called a slipped or ruptured disc. You can have a herniated disc in any part of your spine. But most herniated discs affect the lower back (lumbar spine). Some happen in the neck (cervical spine) and, more rarely, in the upper back (thoracic spine). This topic focuses mainly on the lower back. What causes a herniated disc? Wear and tear of the disc.

As you age, your discs dry out and aren't as flexible. Injury to the spine. This may cause tiny tears or cracks in the hard outer layer of the disc. When this happens, the gel inside the disc can be forced out through the tears or cracks in the outer layer of the disc. This causes the disc to bulge, break open, or break into pieces. (say "sy-AT-ih-kuh"). Sciatica is the most common symptom of a herniated disc in the low back.

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    If a herniated disc is not pressing on a nerve, you may have a backache or no pain at all.
    If you have weakness or numbness in both legs, along with loss of bladder or bowel control, seek medical care right away. This could be a sign of a rare but serious problem called Herniated lumbar disc HLD.
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    How is a herniated disc diagnosed? Your doctor may diagnose a herniated disc by asking questions about your symptoms and examining you.
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    If your symptoms clearly point to a herniated disc, you may not need tests.
    Sometimes a doctor will do tests such as an Herniated Disc or a Birth of a bulge scan to confirm a herniated disc or rule out other health problems. Symptoms from a herniated disc usually get better in a few weeks or months.
    To help you recover: Rest if you have severe pain. Otherwise, stay active. Staying in bed for more than 1 or 2 days can weaken your muscles and make the problem worse.
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    Walking and other light activity may help. Try using a heating pad on a low or medium setting for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 or 3 hours.
    Try a warm shower in place of one session with the heating pad. You can also buy single-use heat wraps that last up to 8 hours.
    You can also try an ice pack for 10 to 15 minutes every 2 to 3 hours. Do the exercises that your doctor or physical therapist suggests.

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    These will help keep your back muscles strong and prevent another injury.
    Ask your doctor about medicine to treat your symptoms. Medicine won't cure a herniated disc, but it may help with pain and swelling.
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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    ©2005-2012 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved. WebMD does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Exercises For Back Pain With A Bulging Disc | LIVESTRONG.
    COM Photo Credit muscle rear image by chrisharvey from Fotolia. com If you suffer from back pain, you are not alone.