Most herniated disks occur in the lower back, although they can also occur in the neck. Signs and symptoms depend on where the disk is situated and whether the disk is pressing on a nerve. They usually affect one side of the body.
Most cases of a herniated disc usually occur in the lower back area, but can also happen in the neck. Signs and symptoms depend on the location of the herniated disc and whether or not it is pressing down on a nerve. Herniated discs usually only affect one side of the body.
Arm or leg pain
You will most likely feel pain in your buttocks, thigh, and calf if the herniated disc is situated in your lower back. Feeling pain in your foot is also a possibility. Herniated discs located in the neck will most likely cause pain in the area of your shoulders and arms. The pain might shoot through your arm or leg when coughing, sneezing, or moving into certain positions. The pain is often described as sharp or a burning sensation.
Numbness or tingling
Those who have a herniated disc often complain about numbness or tingling in the area that the affected nerve is serving.
The muscles which are connected to the nerve that is affected by the herniated disc will usually weaken. This may cause you to stumble or affect your other actions such as lifting or holding objects.
A herniated disc can also come without a symptom. You may be clueless about it until you see it in a spinal image
When to see a doctor
Pain that travels down to your arm and leg is enough reason to contact your doctor. Numbness, tingling, or weakness are also things to look out for. Contact your doctor immediately if any of the following apply to you.
The herniation of a disc is commonly associated with gradual, aging-related wear and tear known as disc degeneration. The discs supporting your spine become less flexible and more prone to tearing and rupturing with even the slightest strain or twist as you get older.
Most people can’t pinpoint the cause of their herniated disk. Sometimes, using your back muscles instead of your leg and thigh muscles to lift heavy objects can lead to a herniated disk, as can twisting and turning while lifting. Rarely, a traumatic event such as a fall or a blow to the back is the cause.
Factors that can increase your risk of a herniated disk include:
Excess body weight will put more pressure on your back and your disc. Excess weight is usually brought about by poor diet and not exercising enough.
People with physically demanding jobs have a greater risk of back problems. Jobs that require or have a lot of repetitive lifting, pulling, pushing, bending sideways and twisting are almost a surefire way to injure your disc.
Some people, in rare cases, inherit a predisposition to developing a herniated disc.
Smoking is believed to lower the oxygen supply to the disc, which causes it to deteriorate a lot more quickly.
Your spinal cord ends just above your waist. A group of long nerve roots resembling a horse’s tail is what continues down through the spinal canal. This is also known as cauda equina.
Very rarely does the herniated disc affect the entire spinal canal, including all the nerves of the cauda equina. Emergency surgery, as rarely, might be required to avoid further damage and permanent weakness or paralysis.