6 Signs You May Have a Herniated Disk
In rare cases, a herniated disk can cut off nerve impulses in your back and legs causing you to lose bowel or bladder control. A medical professional should evaluate herniation symptoms before bigger problems occur. If you have been experiencing any of the 6 signs of a herniated disk curated below by Premier Pain Centers, then you should contact us for an appointment.
1. Shooting Pain in Your Extremities
Pain from a herniated disk is often described as a shooting pain that cuts from your back or neck to your hand or foot. There are two distinct methods to determine whether a herniated disk and not something else is causing your extremity pain. First, the pain must fully inject from your back or neck to your hand or foot. Meaning, if your pain does not cross your knee or elbow, then the pain probably is not being caused by a disc herniation. Secondly, when your extremity pain is significantly worse than your neck or back pain, then a herniated disc is definitely plausible. Both patterns of pain always point to the possibility of a herniated disc and further tests or imaging might be required.
2. Numbness in Your Legs, Hands, or Feet
Have you ever heard someone say, “I’m on pins and needles?” A herniated disc brings the figurative expression to life. And, if you never knew what the expression meant, you will definitely understand its meaning if you’re dealing with a herniation. A herniated disc brings the expression to a whole other level. Usually the expression refers to a state of nervous anticipation, like sitting on pins and needles sticking into your backside that make you feel extremely uncomfortable. Herniation feels like this and more. With herniation, the pins and needles sensation can feel like wrestling numbness in your extremities. Some people say they can never get comfortable because their legs, hands, or feet seem like they are not getting enough blood circulation. The sensation feels similar to falling asleep on your hands, for example. Numbness occurs when a herniated disc pinches off a nerve.
3. Helplessness of Specific Muscle Groups
A herniated disc can also mess with your motor nerves. With herniation, you might notice helplessness or muscle weakness. Helplessness of specific muscle groups is one of the most serious signs of herniation. As a result of spinal nerve root or spinal cord compression, your muscles might feel weak and sometimes unresponsive. For instance, you might feel like you cannot make a fist or stand on your toes because a slipped disc could be blocking your nerves from carrying brain signals to those specific muscle areas. Muscle groups affected by herniation may become weaker and weaker without proper intervention. Sometimes the helplessness experienced in certain muscle groups can cause even more problems like stumbling, falling, or dropping things.
4. Certain Positions Make the Pain Worse
When you have a herniated disc, your pain, numbness, tingling, and other symptoms always get worse when changing positions. During a medical evaluation, a doctor will purposely stretch and bend your body to find positions that increase your symptoms. An increase in symptoms shows your doctor that a nerve is pinched off because a slipped disc is in the way. Therefore, whenever the doctor stretches out that pinched nerve it is then able to signal the brain. Of course, it is never recommended to bend and twist your body in various ways if you are experiencing severe pain because you could make your situation worse. However, if things like holding your hands above your head or elevating your feet help to alleviate your pain, then you are still experiencing a change in symptoms as you change positions. The difference is your pain got better instead of worse. Even still, it’s all connected to a pinched nerve, so you probably have a herniated disc.
5. Symptoms on One Side of Your Body
Your slipped disc pain could be experienced on one side of your body because whenever discs herniate they tend to slip towards either the right or left. When a patient feels pain or other symptoms on only one side of his or her body, then the doctor knows a herniation most likely occurred and further testing might take place. Herniation is indicated by the pain or discomfort, and sudden numbness or weakness on one side of body. The opposite is typically true when a patient experiences their pain or other symptoms on both sides of their bodies. Symptoms on both sides of the body usually point to other causes like disease or tumors.
6. Straining Makes Your Symptoms Worse
You may discover that your symptoms (pain, tingling, numbness, etc.) increase if you strain when lifting a heavy load. This increases the pressure in your spinal cord and may further compress a nerve root; increased pinching leads to increased symptoms. This is a really strong indicator that your trouble is due to a disc herniation.
If you are experiencing any type of pain, request an appointment with Premier Pain Centers today.