What Causes A Herniated Disc? Here’s What Every Pregnant Woman Should Know

Pregnancy brings with it a laundry list of side effects, from weight gain and nausea to limits on your physical activity and even possible health complications. But for those women who have suffered back pain prior to becoming pregnant, particularly those with a history of herniated discs, that list can be even more menacing. There’s also, of course, the worry that pregnancy itself will cause herniated disc. So what causes a herniated disc? More specifically, is it a potential pregnancy complication you should spend your time and energy worrying about? After all, you have enough to focus on, what with the whole “growing another human being inside your body” thing.

Let’s begin with what, exactly, a herniated disc is. The American Academy of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) explains that he bones that make up our spine are cushioned by small discs which act as shock absorbers for the spinal bones. These discs are round and flat, and are surrounded by a jellylike layer. So when a disc becomes herniated (which means it either slips, ruptures, or bulges), a piece of that disc has pushed through the jellylike layer and into the spinal canal. Yes, that’s about as fun as it sounds. When the disc presses on the spinal nerves it can produce severe, debilitating pain.

According to the Mayo Clinic, herniated discs most often occur in the lower back, but they can potentially occur anywhere in the spine. The cause of a herniated disc is usually age-related wear and tear. The Mayo Clinic’s website explains, saying,…

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