Back Massage

Headaches & Migraines

Migraines are characterized by headaches, as well as other symptoms, such as dizziness and nausea. There are effective medications that can be used for migraine prevention or for acute migraine episodes.

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Causes

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Risk factors

Factors that can increase your risk of a herniated disk include:

  • Weight. Excess body weight causes extra stress on the disks in your lower back.

  • Occupation. People with physically demanding jobs have a greater risk of back problems.

 

  • Repetitive lifting, pulling, pushing, bending sideways and twisting also can increase your risk of a herniated disk.

  • Genetics. Some people inherit a predisposition to developing a herniated disk.

  • Smoking. It's thought that smoking lessens the oxygen supply to the disk, causing it to break down more quickly.

Symptoms

Most herniated disks occur in the lower back, although they can also occur in the neck. Signs and symptoms depend on where the disk is situated and whether the disk is pressing on a nerve. They usually affect one side of the body.

  • Arm or leg pain. If your herniated disk is in your lower back, you'll typically feel the most pain in your buttocks, thigh and calf. You might have pain in part of the foot, as well. If your herniated disk is in your neck, you'll typically feel the most pain in your shoulder and arm. This pain might shoot into your arm or leg when you cough, sneeze or move into certain positions. Pain is often described as sharp or burning.

  • Numbness or tingling. People who have a herniated disk often have radiating numbness or tingling in the body part served by the affected nerves.

  • Weakness. Muscles served by the affected nerves tend to weaken. This can cause you to stumble, or affect your ability to lift or hold items.

You can have a herniated disk without symptoms. You might not know you have it unless it shows up on a spinal image.