Degeneration of an intervertebral disc
People who do sedentary work are affected in the same measure as people doing manual labour
Degeneration of an intervertebral disc is a normal process that occurs in all of us to some extent. Heavy work involving frequent bending over and lifting of heavy objects may put a person at an increased risk of developing backache, but will not cause a hernia. Hernias occur in equal measure in people performing manual labour and in people who have office jobs. What is notable is that smokers require spinal hernia surgery much more often than non-smokers, and that surgeries performed on smokers tend to be less successful than those performed on non-smokers. Persons with jobs involving a lot of sitting, e.g. drivers and office workers, are especially prone to hernias.
A hernia can affect anyone
If an intervertebral disc degenerates, it may start bulging, or alternatively, its outer ring may tear, thus causing pieces of the soft core to be pressed through this tear, towards the spinal canal. Generally speaking, the ring will tear in its weakest spot, which happens to be the spot where the sciatic nerve branches off the spinal canal. A hernia can affect anyone, and we do not know why some people are affected while others are not. However, it is known that some families are more prone to hernias than others.