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What is a herniated disk?

Many people in the Philadelphia area, particularly, those who perform difficult manual labor, may have to put strain on their backs as they work. No matter how hard they try to stay safe, exertion will wear down the various parts of the spine, and this wear-and-tear can cause back problems, like a herniated disk.

To give some background, the spine, which gives structure to the whole body and protects the all-important spinal cord nerves, is made up of several little bones called vertebrae. Between the bones are natural padding called disks.

These disks have a tougher shell with a softer interior, much like padding one could find on different types of machines. A herniated disk, also referred to as slipped or ruptured disk, happens when some of the interior material over time escapes the outer shell.

Although some people get lucky and do not experience symptoms, in other cases, the herniated disk starts to irritate the spinal nerves around it. This can cause chronic pain, as well as a numb or tingly sensation. In serious cases, people experience weakness or even the loss of sensation. Some people also may develop incontinence.

While maintaining a healthy body weight helps, the wear and tear that leads to herniated disks happens because of one's line of work. As such, this condition may fairly be called a work-related injury, which, in serious cases, can be debilitating. If a Pennsylvania resident is unable to work because of a herniated disk, they may be able to get Social Security Disability benefits as a result.

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Pennsylvania Bar Association Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee Philadelphia Bar Co-Chair SSD Committee