Ruptured Disc Symptoms
Ruptured Disc Symptoms
When it comes to diagnosing back pains, ruptured disc symptoms or herniated disc symptoms are one of the most important diagnostic tools that doctors use to zero in on the illness. Often, just looking at the symptoms that patients enumerate can help doctors make a diagnostic assessment. Of course, it helps to have a visual confirmation of the condition via X-ray or MRI but the absence of these tools does not preclude the diagnosis which in turn can help facilitate the development of a treatment plan.
Here are some ruptured disc symptoms that doctors look for when trying to diagnose chronic back pain. Take note that patients can use the same symptoms to perform a self-diagnosis which they can then use as basis for rushing to their doctors for a more thorough assessment.
One of the most common symptoms of a ruptured disc is pain, but it should be remembered that this only manifests when the disc is pressing on a nerve root. When the herniated disc does not impinge on a nerve ending, it is actually possible that the patient only experiences a mild discomfort or may not even display any symptoms at all.
The exact nature of the pain ultimately depends on which disc is pressing on which nerve. In the case of herniation in the lower back area, sciatica may be one of the ruptured disc symptoms that will manifest. Sciatica happens when the herniated disc presses on the sciatic nerve resulting in pain that radiates from the lower back, buttocks, and on down to the leg. Sciatica may also lead to paralysis of the lower extremities if the pressure on the nerve is prolonged and excessive.
With herniation in the upper back, the pain may be felt at the upper thigh portion. This happens when the ruptured disc presses on the nerves running through the chest area near the digestive cavity.
Ruptured disc symptoms leading to paralysis, pain, weakness and numbness in the arms, chest, and shoulders are due to the herniated disc pressing on the nerve endings in the upper neck and cervical area. The most well known documented case of cervical disc problems is Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning who had to take a one-year leave from playing football as he underwent surgery to repair the disc and alleviate the symptoms.
In the case where pain is not apparent, nerve symptoms may replace the manifestation of the ruptured disc. Nerve symptoms include tingling and numbness including weakness and partial paralysis as in the case of sciatica. It may also manifest as a sharp piercing pain or a deep muscle pain that then leads to spasms.
Whether used for personal diagnosis or diagnosis by a doctor, ruptured disc symptoms should not be taken lightly as these are indicative of something that is more serious. Given its complexity, it may also require surgery especially when not treated in time. As such, all care and precaution should be taken to put the ruptured disc symptoms to good use by taking all the symptoms seriously and making sure all efforts are taken for the best treatment plan possible. In most cases herniated disc back surgery is unneeded if the patient follows their doctor’s instructions for non-invasive treatment methods.