The human spine consists of an intricate network of bones (vertebrae) and the sponge-like cushions (discs) between each vertebrae that provide shock absorption, and general support to the spine. Much like any part of the body, the discs in the spine are subject to wear and tear over time. Whether through progressive wear and tear, trauma, or illness, the discs can slip out of their position and cause pressure or “pinching” of a neighboring nerve, causing what is known as a herniated disc.
What are the Signs and Symptoms of a Herniated Disc?
While the most common symptom is pain, some cases can be asymptomatic (present no symptoms). Herniated discs without accompanying symptoms can usually be detected through imaging technology, like CAT scans or an MRI, by an expert spine surgeon in Los Angeles at ProMed SPINE. The majority of disc injuries occur in the lumbar (lower spine), but some cases do occur in the neck (cervical spine).
In most cases, the pain associated with a herniated disc is distinct enough to warrant medical attention.
Pain in the Extremities
A herniated disc in the lumbar spine will usually produce pain in the lower half of the body, including the:
A herniated disc in the cervical spine typically produces pain in the arms and shoulders. Shooting pain in the extremities can be triggered by physical movements, such as sneezing, coughing, or sudden movements of the spine.
Muscle Fatigue and Weakness
When nerve function is affected and compromised by an injured disc, the muscles supported by the nerves can atrophy (weaken), potentially affecting mobility and motor functions.
Numbness and Tingling Sensation
Consistent tingling and numbing sensations can signal a herniated disc, due to the interruption in nerve function.
Muscle Spasms and Inflammation
As with trauma or injury in any part of the body, the body will issue an immune response to a problem in the spine, which can lead to muscle tightness (spasm) and swelling (inflammation) in the back or neck.
Contact an Expert Spine Surgeon in Los Angeles Today!
Are you experiencing any or all of the signs and symptoms of a herniated disc? Contact an experienced spine surgeon at ProMed SPINE by calling 888-75-SPINE today to schedule a consultation! Relief from back pain is just a phone call away!
Next, read more about Possible Complications of DISCECTOMY