Your back is made up of many disc. Each one of your back disc is there to support your vertebrae. Your disc act as a natural shock absorber, protecting your spine. Your disc also allow your spine to be flexible. If there is trauma or injury to the disc, it can bulge or rupture. The disc can break open. This is known as a herniated disc, ruptured disc, slipped disc or bulging disc.
A herniated disk can irritate nearby nerves and result in pain, numbness or weakness in the arms or legs. Some people may experience symptoms and others may experience no symptoms from a herniated disk. Most people who have a herniated disk don’t need surgery to correct the problem. However, if your herniated disc is bad enough, surgery may be required.
Herniated Disc Symptoms
You can have several different symptoms from a herniated disc. Most men and women will experience symptoms but some may not. Herniated disc can be tricky, sometimes it can cause severe pain and other times the patient may not even know that they have a bulging disc. Most people get herniated disc in their lower back. Your lower back is more flexible and mobile then your upper back. Due to this, your lower back is more likely to get herniated disc. You can also get herniated disc in your neck.
One of the most common symptoms of herniated disc is arm and leg pain. If you have a herniated disc in your lower back, you may feel severe pain in your buttocks, thigh, calf and the lower foot. Now, if you have a herniated disc in your neck, you may feel pain in your arms and shoulders. With herniated disc, you can feel shooting pain in your arms and legs when you sneeze or cough. Don’t be alarmed, this just means that you likely have a herniated disc.
Source: Spine Universe
Another symptom that you may feel with a herniated disc is weakness. Weakness is quite common in this situation. You may have your legs give out on you or even your arms, depending on the location of your herniation. Muscles served by the affected nerves tend to weaken. This may cause you to stumble, fall, or impair your ability to lift or hold items.
More common symptoms include tingling and numbness. Depending on the location of your herniated disc, you can feel numbness and tingling in the area where the nerve roots are effected. The numbness and tingling can be minor, more of a hassle then actual pain. However, in some cases, the numbness and tingling can be extreme and painful.
Causes Of Herniated Disc
Herniated disc can be caused by a few different things. One of the most common causes of herniated disc is natural aging. Degenerative Disc is the medical term that defines when the spinal disc age naturally. As we do age, our spinal disc become weaker. This makes you more likely to get herniated disc. In our elder age, a simple strain can cause disc herniation. Your disc become less flexible and it doesn’t take much for injury to occur.
Injury is another cause of a slipped disc. Lifting heavy objects can cause you to get a herniation. Of course, injury concerns rise as we become older. Our lower back is always under stress. The lower back supports the weight of the upper back. Another possible cause of disc herniation is trauma. This could be caused by a fall or accident. Although herniated disc are rarely caused by trauma, it can happen.
Another condition that can cause herniated disc is obesity or being overweight. As mentioned before, your lower back has to support the weight of your upper body. The extra body weight adds a lot of pressure to your spinal disc. This added pressure and stress can cause a herniation. Losing weight will help take pressure off your spine and disc.
Complications Of Herniated Disc
Although herniated disc can be minor with little or no symptoms and pain, some cases can be very serious. If left untreated, herniated disc can lead to major complications that includes paralysis. You can’t leave a herniated disc untreated. Yes, it’s possible that your herniated disc won’t lead to anything but it’s not worth taking the risk. If you believe you may have a herniated disc, you need to see your doctor immediately.
Source: Pain Neck
One complication that herniated disc can lead to is bladder or bowel dysfunction. Your disc herniation can compress the entire cauda equina. This is rare but it does happen. If the disc is compressing the cauda equina, you will likely require surgery. You may become incontinent or have difficulty urinating even with a full bladder. There’s a number of different things that can cause issues with urination, so seeking immediate treatment would be wise.
It’s possible that you can lose sensation in the buttocks and inner things. This is commonly known as Saddle Anesthesia. Saddle Anesthesia is caused by Cauda Equine Syndrome. Cauda Equina Syndrome is a serious neurological condition where damage occurs to the cauda equina. Although this is rare, a severe herniation can cause it.
Diagnosing Disc Herniation
There’s a variety of different ways you can diagnose herniated disc. When you see your doctor, he or she will likely perform a physical exam. A neurological exam may be conducted. Physical exams and a history check is often all that is needed to determine if a herniated disc is the cause of your pain and symptoms.
If a physical exam and history is not enough, you may need testing to determine if you have a herniated disc. A CT scan or MRI will probably be ordered to see if there is a herniation of the spinal disc. Although an X-ray won’t find a herniated disc, it can be used to rule out other causes of similar symptoms. The MRI can see the exact nerve that is being pressured, a very accurate tool when it comes to diagnosing herniated disc.
Herniated Disc Treatments
You’ll have several options when it comes to herniated disc treatments. Your course of treatment will likely depend on the pain and severity of your disc herniation. If your pain is minor, over-the-counter medications may be used. If the pain is severe, narcotics may be prescribed for your pain. Nerve medications and cortisone injections are also used to treat herniated disc. Anyone of these may be used as a disc herniation treatment.
Another herniated disc treatment is the Doctor’s Back Pain Systems treatment. This natural herniated disc treatment was developed by Dr. Jason Hurst. This natural pain system has helped thousands of men and women relieve and end their back pain. This pain relief system uses a specific combination of stretches and exercises used to relieve the nerve pressure caused by herniated disc. Learn more about this treatment now.
Physical therapy and exercises can help you relieve your herniated disc pain. Specific exercises and therapy can help you relieve the pain that herniation causes. Some of you may require surgery to relieve your pain. Although this is rare, if your symptoms are not improving, you will need to seek further treatment.
You’ve learned a lot about herniated disc in this article, from causes to symptoms. If you’ve been experiencing similar symptoms, we suggest that you seek treatment from your doctor immediately. Never leave your herniated disc untreated, you should seek a professional opinion immediately.