Feeling Pain or Numbness? 4 Symptoms of a Herniated Disc
It’s easy to tell when you have a cut or a fever. A herniated disc can be more difficult to detect, as the symptoms can occasionally be vague. Sometimes they can be chalked up to simple aging. It’s important to pay attention to the signs, though, so you can seek one of the many herniated disc treatments quickly and feel better faster. Here are four symptoms of a herniated disc.
Arm or Leg Pain
Depending on the exact location of the herniated disc, you’ll feel pain in various locations. If the disc is in your lower back, the most intense pain will be in your buttocks, thighs, and calves. It may be only one leg or both. If the disc is in your neck, your shoulder and arm will feel the most intense pain. In either case, sneezing or coughing may cause the pain to shoot into your arm or leg, as can shifting your spine into certain positions.
Numbness or Tingling
Similar to the “pins and needles” feeling that you get when a body part has fallen asleep, you may feel numbness or tingling in the body part served by the nerves affected by the herniated disc. This numbness or tingling may not affect the entire body part. It may only affect a particular area, such as the thumb side of an arm, or the little toe and outside of a foot and leg.
The herniated disc affects the nerves that serve various muscles. Those muscles tend to weaken. Depending on the area of the disc, this can lead you to stumble or have trouble standing, or it could impair your ability to hold and lift items. Muscle weakness tends to be one of the more serious symptoms of a herniated disc and often requires surgical intervention as quickly as possible.
The back pain may be dull or throbbing, constant or intermittent, and possibly accompanied by stiffness. The disc may also cause muscle spasms, which might be alleviated by a couple of days of rest with ice and heat in a supportive recliner or lying flat with a pillow beneath the knees. Back pain is more likely to be present in the lower back than the neck.
A herniated disc can be a painful experience. If you suspect that your symptoms are caused by a herniated disc, it’s best to get it checked out quickly by a professional, like those at Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates