Spinal disc herniation is an injury to the connective tissue between vertebrae that create cushioning. When the center portion of the spine protrudes out through damaged outer rings, the disc is herniated. It can be caused by age-related degeneration as well as strain or trauma to the spine. A disc herniation will often occur abruptly and cause pain that radiates down the arm or leg. In some cases it will cause weakness or other loss of neurological function, which should be evaluated immediately by a doctor because there is a risk of permanent damage to the nerves.
Spine doctors will typically use MRI to diagnose the condition. There are surgical and non-surgical treatments for disc herniation. Preventative measures include building core strength and being aware of posture and movement.