Does a herniated disk hurt when you touch it?

Answered by Douglas Hiatt

When it comes to herniated discs, the pain experienced is typically not caused by simply touching the affected area. Herniated discs occur when the inner core of the spinal disc pushes through the outer layer and irritates nearby nerves. This can result in pain, numbness, and weakness in the area of the body that is supplied by the affected nerve.

The pain associated with a herniated disc usually occurs when the herniated area of the disc presses on a nerve root in the spine. This can happen if the disc bulges out and comes into contact with the nerve, or if the herniation causes inflammation and swelling, which in turn puts pressure on the nerve. The pain can be sharp, shooting, or even a dull ache, depending on the severity and location of the herniation.

However, it is important to note that not all herniated discs cause pain. In fact, it is possible to have a herniated disc and not even know it. Some people may have a herniated disc that is small or located in a position that does not put pressure on a nerve root, resulting in no pain or symptoms.

Touching or applying pressure to the area where the herniated disc is located typically does not cause pain directly. The pain arises when the herniated disc compresses or irritates the nerve roots nearby. So, touching or pressing on the herniated disc itself would not necessarily cause pain unless it directly impacts the irritated nerve.

It is worth mentioning that the symptoms and pain experienced from a herniated disc can vary from person to person. Factors such as the location, size, and severity of the herniation, as well as individual pain thresholds, can influence the level of pain experienced.

A herniated disc typically does not hurt when you touch it directly. The pain associated with a herniated disc is usually a result of the herniation pressing on nearby nerve roots in the spine. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional if you suspect you have a herniated disc or are experiencing any symptoms to receive an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.