You have a herniated disc when a soft cushion of tissue between the vertebrae in your spine pushes out of its position. Herniated or slipped discs often resolve themselves after a few weeks of painkillers, gentle exercise, and rest. However, when the pain is widespread and debilitating and accompanied by weakness and numbness, it calls for immediate medical attention. Here is a look at seven warning signs that you should see a Roswell herniated disc expert.
1. Lower Back Pain
Lower back pain associated with a herniated disc is often described as throbbing or dull and could be accompanied by stiffness. You can relieve it by following the RICE treatment method (rest, apply ice, compress, and elevate) for a day or two.
2. Leg Pain
Leg pain caused by a herniated disc is often worse than lower back pain. It radiates along your sciatic nerve and can appear for a few days before disappearing. Usually, it is the first symptom of a herniated disc and can be easy to discount.
3. Pain That Worsens with Movement
Herniated disc pain often follows prolonged periods of sitting, standing or walking. It can also be triggered or intensified by sudden actions like sneezing or laughing. In some cases, the pain worsens when you hunch forward or slouch in your chair or bend forward at the waist.
4. Variable Location of Symptoms
Herniated disc symptoms typically only affect one side of the body. However, they can appear in different parts depending on the degree and location of the herniation. You may experience symptoms in the toes, feet, calf, thighs, buttocks, or lower back.
5. Quick Onset
You may have a herniated disc if your pain appears and develops quickly, even without an identifiable causal event or action. The pain could be mild and localized to your local back or more severe and widespread if the herniation is extensive.
6. Neurological Symptoms
You may experience a feeling of tingling, weakness, pins, needles, or numbness in your toes, legs, or feet. These neurological symptoms can range in severity from mild to disruptive. Sometimes, they can make it difficult for you to lift your foot when standing on the balls of your feet or walking, a condition otherwise called foot drop.
7. Nerve Pain
Most patients with herniated discs describe feeling nerve pain in the leg. The pain is often described as piercing, radiating, electric, sharp, or searing.
How Is a Herniated Disc Treated?
Most doctors begin their approach to herniated discs with nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy designed to promote mobility and alleviate your pain. They may also administer anesthetic medicine or steroid injections or prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to eliminate inflammation in the nerves surrounding your herniated disc. If these treatments fail to improve your symptoms, they may recommend discectomy surgery along with spinal fusion.
Factors such as your lifestyle and age can increase your risk of developing a herniated disc. If you experience some or all of these symptoms, contact Apex Spine and Neurosurgery. The team of skilled surgeons here will help diagnose and treat your pain through minimally invasive interventions. Call the Roswell, Georgia office today or request an appointment online to learn more.