Signs of a Herniated Disc

Back Surgery Information

Signs of a Herniated Disc

Signs of a herniated disc is a common ailment with people all over the world. The problem is attributed to normal wear and tear of the discs as one ages, but a number of other factors such as physical injury have been noted to cause it in younger individuals. Fortunately, most people who suffer from the condition tend to heal without the need for any major medical intervention. Roughly 90% of all herniated disc cases heal within a 6 month period. However, individuals who do not respond properly to conventional treatment i.e. pain medication, physical therapy and other non-invasive treatments may have to seek herniated disc back surgery to help eliminate the problems.

While it is a common ailment, a herniated disc can be very painful. It requires immediate attention and as such, one needs to check for the signs of a herniated disc as soon as they present themselves. Signs of a herniated disc vary. The exact symptoms depend on the individual affected. Moreover, the location of the herniated disc as well as the size of the herniation will influence which symptoms are present in a particular individual.

In some cases, there are no signs whatsoever that one has a herniated disc. For instance, if the herniated disc does not press on any of the spinal nerves, one will not experience any of the back pain or discomfort associated with the herniated disc condition. Moreover, they may never experience any of the other symptoms associated with the condition.

One of the most common signs of a herniated disc, pain and/or weakness, occurs when the herniated disc presses on a surrounding nerve. If the herniated disc occurs in the lower back, a condition known as sciatica may also develop. This condition develops when the herniated disc presses on the sciatic nerve. Pain from sciatica starts from the lower back and travels down to the buttock and the legs. One may also feel this radiating pain in their ankle or foot.

The weakness associated with the herniated disc condition may be present in one or both legs. One may also experience pain in their upper thigh, especially if the herniated disc is located in the upper part of the lumbar spine. When the herniated disc is located in the neck or cervical region, one may experience pain or numbness in their shoulders or chest region.

Other signs of a herniated disc noted among individuals include severe muscle spasms and deep muscle pain.

As was noted earlier, most herniated discs heal on their own. This occurs through reabsorption whereby the jelly-like contents of the herniated disc are broken down and reabsorbed by the body. To allow the process to occur, alternative treatments are recommended before any surgical procedures are taken into consideration. The common surgical option recommended for treating the condition is the discectomy whereby herniated material is removed through an incision.

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