Think you're too young for disc-related back pain? Think again. Most disc-related back pain occurs in people between ages 35 and 55. So that soreness you think is due to working in the garden could well be a disc-related problem, one that needs medical attention.

Discs are rubbery pads between the vertebrae in your spinal column. They serve as shock absorbers and without them, your back would be straight and inflexible. Herniated or "slipped" discs can "crack" under pressure or get pushed and pinched out of place. As they do this, they can push on nearby nerves, causing pain. Symptoms of disc-related back pain include:

  • Sciatica or pain that travels from your rear down the back of one leg
  • Numbness or weakness in one leg or foot
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control
  • Burning pain in the middle of your back

Herniated discs are usually the result of aging or injuries. Conditions that can weaken the discs include:

  • Improper lifting
  • Smoking
  • Excessive body weight that places added stress on the discs, especially in the lower back
  • Repetitive strenuous activities

Put back pain behind you

See your doctor immediately if you have numbness or weakness in your legs or believe your back pain is from an injury or fall. If it turns out your back pain is something else - muscle strain, stress or another medical condition - your doctor can treat that as well.

To find a doctor or speak to a nurse, call Consult-A-Nurse® at (951) 788-3463, 24 hours a day. Visit our joint page for information on our orthopedics services.