Disc herniation is virtually the last stage of spinal disc deformation. Intervertebral disc protrusion is the transitional herniation stage, characterized by disc deformation without its breakage, while the herniation is associated with breakage of the intervertebral disc.
People aged 30 to 45 are more vulnerable to intervertebral disc herniation due to the active phase of intervertebral disc aging. After 45 years active disc aging is over and the possibility of intervertabral disc herniation becomes considerably lower.
It must be also noted that the risk of intervertebral disc herniation is increased by smoking, obesity, tallness (over 175 cm for men and 170 cm for women), physical activity associated twisting and weight lifting.
The disease may progress almost painlessly (if the disc is the only damaged soft tissue), or with complications (if the process also affects the spinal brain and nerve roots). The disease may be accompanied by other symptoms: numbness, stabbing, burning or muscle weakness.
In case herniated discs are pressing against the spinal brain or spinal nerves, permanent changes may occur, such as paralysis, loss of bowel and bladder control and sexual dysfunction.
The good news is that almost 75 per cent of all intervertebral herniations can be cured with comprehensive treatment, including massage, spine correction, medication and physiotherapy. A bed regime is required in many cases. When such conservative methods give no effect, a patient might need hernia excision surgery.