The vertebral discs are the shock absorbers of the spine. In the healthy condition, they connect the vertebrae and make a significant contribution to the flexibility and stability of the spine. Like cushions, the vertebral discs prevent the vertebrae from rubbing against each other. Long-term wrong application of strain, excessive weight, heavy lifting, sudden rotational trunk movements and one-sided strain by sitting in the wrong position can, however, cause major damage, so that vertebral disc prolapse threatens.
The main symptom of vertebral disc prolapse
The main symptom of vertebral disc prolapse consists of severe pain. The vertebral discs consist of an external fiber ring and a gel-like inner core. Persistent strain, for instance while standing or sitting, can cause cracks in the fiber ring. The gel mass comes out and applies pressure to the lateral spinal cord nerves. Back pain which radiates into the buttocks and legs or complaints in the arms and legs are the consequence. Depending on the location and extent of the vertebral disc prolapse, a sensation of numbness, loss of reflexes or signs of paralysis may also occur in some cases.
Vertebral disc prolapse – a common problem
Today, nearly every third German is affected by vertebral disc prolapse, for the buffer function of the vertebrae gradually lessens over the years. For prevention, the back musculature should be strengthened with specific training and attention should be given to a relaxed, upright position when working at home and at one’s profession. Heavy objects should always be lifted from a squatting position with a straight back.