Herniated discs are common, especially among people ages 35-55. Being overweight, smoking cigarettes, suffering from a degenerative disease, or carrying heavy items regularly can also increase your chances of suffering a herniated disc.
In between each of your vertebrae are rubbery discs. These discs absorb shock and allow your spine to be flexible. If a disc receives too much pressure, the softer center can push out through the harder exterior and press on nearby nerves, which can lead to pain and other symptoms.
Herniated disc symptoms aren’t usually chronic. However, when a flare-up occurs, it can take weeks for the pain to go away. In this blog, Bonaventure Ngu, MD, of Premier Spine Institute, discusses the tell-tale symptoms of a herniated disc and when you should seek medical care.
Discs can herniate in any part of the spine. When a disc herniates, it can put pressure on a nearby nerve, and the pain and other symptoms can travel the length of the nerve.
Therefore, if a disc herniates in your lower back, you may feel pain all the way to your legs. And if a disc herniates in your neck, you may feel radiating pain all the way through your shoulders and arms.
Limited range of motion
The discs in your spine ensure that your back can be flexible and mobile. But if one of the discs herniates, it will provide less cushioning between your vertebrae, which are the individual bones that make up your spine.
With less cushioning between your vertebrae, not only may you experience pain, but you may also find it more difficult to make sudden movements.
Muscle weakness, tingling, and loss of feeling
When a slipped disc damages a nerve, it may also cause loss of feeling or tingling. If you experience loss of feeling in your legs and lose control of your bladder or your bowel movements, seek emergency medical help.
This could be a sign of cauda equina syndrome, and it can lead to permanent paralysis in the legs if left untreated. Other symptoms of cauda equina syndrome include loss of feeling in the saddle area, sexual dysfunction, and loss of reflexes in the extremities.
Do you have a herniated disc, or do you suspect you do and want to get diagnosed? Our specialists at Premier Spine Institute can give you a thorough evaluation and help you get well again. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Premier Spine Institute today.