Hernia or spinal hernia, cause

A hernia is a synonym for rupture. A hernia means: rupture of an intervertebral disc or a spinal hernia. Back pain occurs that can radiate to the leg. Anyone can get a hernia at any time. The question is what the exact cause is. Can a hernia be caused by stress? What about a bad mattress and lifting or bending?

What is a hernia?

A hernia means rupture. By a hernia we actually mean hernia nuclei pulpos, abbreviated HNP. It concerns a rupture of the intervertebral disc. This is usually around the lumbar region. On the back, the intervertebral disc tears or bulges and presses against a nerve root. This causes a lot of pain that can radiate when sneezing or coughing. The radiating pain is often felt in one leg. In addition, problems with urination may occur. In severe cases, paralysis of the leg may even occur. Pain does not always occur: there are people who have a hernia without knowing it. A hernia can be repaired through surgery. Mild cases can often be resolved with the help of physiotherapy.

Cause: incorrect lifting

A hernia can be promoted by incorrect lifting. By incorrect lifting we mean lifting with a bent or twisted back, especially heavy objects or lifting small children. Heavy lifting in an incorrect position does not necessarily have to be the direct cause of a hernia, but it can promote it. Half of all people over the age of 50 have a weakened intervertebral disc that sometimes bulges out. If this is the case, an incorrect movement while lifting can increase the risk of a hernia. People who lift a lot incorrectly are more likely to suffer from back problems. People who lift heavy weights every day, but in the correct manner, are less likely to suffer from a hernia.


A hernia is most common in people between 40 and 60 years old. People under the age of 40 can also develop a hernia, but this is less common. Older people over the age of 60 are less likely to suffer a hernia because the intervertebral discs dry out and collapse as they age. Bulging of the intervertebral disc is then no longer possible.

Men or women, who gets it more often?

A hernia is not more common in men or women: both groups experience a hernia equally often. However, a spinal hernia is more common within certain families. Heredity seems to play a role in this, with the intervertebral discs sinking through the supporting tissue more quickly.

Stress, cause or effect?

It is sometimes said that a hernia is caused by stress. Stress can cause back pain, that’s a fact. Stress creates physical tension, the muscles are unconsciously tensed. This increased muscle tension can cause back pain. People with back pain caused by stress do not develop a hernia more often than people without stress. However, stress can have a negative impact on people who already have a spinal hernia. Stress makes recovery much slower than normal. Stress also makes recovery take longer after surgery. Relaxation is the message here.

Bad mattress

A bad mattress, and by this we mean a mattress that is too soft or too hard or a mattress that does not provide good support, can cause terrible back problems. There are people who have had trouble sleeping for years only because of a bad mattress. They often cannot last more than a few hours in bed. Then they are forced to get up. But can a bad mattress also cause a hernia? The answer is no, a bad mattress cannot cause a hernia in addition to back pain. However, recovery from a hernia can be made more difficult by a bad mattress, because everything will only hurt more. It is therefore important to purchase a good mattress, whether you have a hernia or not.

Hernia due to childbirth

Unfortunately, we make a point here: a hernia can be caused by childbirth. Sometimes there is already pain in the leg during childbirth, but this is often only noticed later, after the first maternity week. The moment the woman has to do her own chores at home and take care of the baby again, back problems arise that radiate to one leg. In less serious cases, the hernia will disappear on its own with rest and exercise, but in severe cases surgery is necessary. Recovery after surgery takes an average of 6 to 10 weeks. Women with a hernia should discuss this with a doctor if they want to become pregnant again. Sometimes it is not possible to give birth naturally.

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