Is your lower back, spine and neck aching badly? Then, it's a sign of a slipped disc you might be having. You can have a slipped disc in any part of your spine, neck or your lower back. Here, in this article, you will get to know more about the signs of a slipped disc in your lower back.
So, what causes a slipped disc? Slipped disc is caused when an injury or weakness can cause the inner portion of the disc to protrude through the outer ring. This is known as a slipped or prolapsed disk.
This leads to pain and discomfort in the spine and if the slipped disk compresses one of your spinal nerves, you may also experience numbness and pain along the affected nerve.
The symptoms of a slipped disc can include pain and numbness on one side of the body, pain that extends to your legs and arms, pain after standing and sitting, pain when walking short distances, tingling, aching or burning sensation in the affected area, etc., are some of the symptoms you should look out for.
Now, have a look at the signs of a slipped disc in your lower back.
1. Your Arm Or Leg Hurts
The disc can slip anywhere along the length of your spine, the excruciating pain may affect other parts of your body as well and it's not just your back. It totally depends on where the slipped disc is, you may experience the symptoms in your arm, or in your legs. So, the next time, you feel a bad aching pain in the arm or legs, go visit your doctor immediately.
2. One Side Of Your Body Is Cold
If you have injured your upper back and possibly herniated a disc, then it's time to visit your physician. When your nerves are irritated, the symptoms may not show up as expected. However, you may come across a pain as burning, numbness, aching pain or a strange coldness along the trunk of your body, which is usually on one side.
3. Hands Turn Numb
The area where the symptom you are experiencing may provide a clue where the problem is arising from in your spine. If you have pain and numbness in your fingers while typing, then hand numbness is a sign that your cervical spine, which is located in your neck, is the source of trouble.
The nerves that provide a sensation in your hands originate higher up in your spinal cord.
4. Weakness In The Legs
The symptoms of a slipped disc may also target your legs. The nerve that runs within the spinal cord in the neck continues to the legs. This is why severe compression of the spinal cord can affect your legs, leading to weakness or imbalances in the legs. In the lower back area, a compressed nerve can cause tingling and muscle weakness in the legs and feet, which happens on one side of the body.
5. Foot Pain
If a slipped disc in your lower back presses on your sciatic nerve, there's an increased risk of developing a condition called sciatica. Along with the pain and numbness that will shoot through your leg, you will lose the feeling in your feet or toes, according to a study.
6. It Hurts While Laughing
Laughing is known to be the best medicine, but when your neck is involved, it prevents you from laughing heartily. Laughing, coughing or sneezing puts pressure on your abdomen, which can reverberate to your back. This can hurt while you are laughing or doing other kinds of activities.
7. Pain Is Worse When You Rest
You will be surprised to know that sitting puts more stress on your spinal discs than standing. And more often, people tend to slouch forward when they sit at their desks for a longer period of time. The pain you experience while sitting or bending forward when you have a slipped disc is a common symptom.
8. Helplessness Of Specific Muscle Groups
A herniated disc or a slipped disc can also mess with your motor nerves. You might notice helplessness or muscle weakness; helplessness of specific muscle groups is one of the signs of a slipped disc. As a result of spinal cord compression, your muscles might feel weak and sometimes unresponsive. For example, you might feel like you can't make a fist or stand on your toes because a slipped disc could be blocking your nerves from carrying the brain signals to those specific muscle areas.
9. Certain Positions Make The Pain Worse
When you have a slipped disc, your pain, numbness and other symptoms always get worse when changing positions. Stretching or bending your body may increase the symptoms. So, it's recommended to never bend or twist your body in various ways if you are experiencing severe pain.
How Do You Diagnose A Slipped Disc?
To diagnose a slipped disc, your doctor will conduct a physical exam. They will be looking out for the source of discomfort, which includes checking your nerve function and muscle strength, etc. Your doctor will also know about your medical history and other symptoms.
Imaging tests will let the doctor know and identify the damaging areas. The imaging scans that your doctor will prescribe you are:
- CT scans
- MRI scans
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