Many people suffer from a herniated disc. It is painful and crippling, a serious problem, and knowing its symptoms will serve you well. As you know, your spine is a puzzle of complicated anatomical pieces: bones, muscles, and ligaments that, at any given moment, can cause you problems. Here is why.
How Do I Know If I Have a Slipped Disc?
1. What Is It?
What are these discs in my spine that cause me so much pain and discomfort? Well, in order to understand it, you have to think about the existing tissue between the bones in your spinal column that have a soft texture and a hard exterior covering. They act as shock absorbers, and adapt themselves to any movements you make (these are the discs and what cause hernias). Sometimes they get torn, which causes the white tissue to be released. This tissue can put pressure on the nerves and cause pain, as well as losing shock absorbing abilities.
2. Why Do I Get Slipped Discs?
Basically, a slipped disc appears as you age. As you get older, your spine is less flexible, it gets a little bit more stiff, and the ligaments that surround the discs can sometimes get torn. These discs also become more stiff because they lose hydration and degenerate. If you are in pain and you don’t know why, it’s worth knowing the symptoms of a slipped disc.
3. Symptoms of a Slipped Disc
- In the first place, you should know that depending on the area of your body that is hurting, this will tell you where your herniated disc is located. That is important.
- If you have pain or tingling in your legs, or they fall asleep a lot, or are very heavy, it is possible that you have a herniated disc in your lumbar area. If you have discomfort in the middle of your back, it could be a herniated dorsal disc. And if you notice tension and pain in your neck or even in your arms, it is possible you have a herniated cervical disc.
- Herniated cervical disc symptoms: neck pain, neck stiffness, inability to move it side to side, neck cramps that go down to your shoulders and arms. You may also experience nausea or fainting. Besides all of these realities, it is very common for your arms and hands to fall asleep at night. You may even have difficulty in lifting weights: suddenly you feel weak and you drop things. This is very bothersome and incapacitating.
- Herniated lumbar disc symptoms: In this case, the pain will be located in the lower area of your back. You will feel a strange burning or strong heat that makes you keep your back very straight, almost rigid. Muscular stiffness that is accompanied with cramping can even reach your legs. This is what’s known as radiating or even sciatic pain. There are many people that say that they sometimes feel pain, tingling, or weakness in their feet and even incontinence. That would be a very extreme case but it can happen. If this happens to you, you should see a doctor immediately.
- Doctors also talk about radiating pain. What does that mean? Well, it’s when you have pain in a certain part of your body but the hernia is in another place. An example would be having a hernia in your back but feeling pain in your legs. It is a problem that is centered on a vertebra disc. It is very common to have pain in your gluteals, a burning that extends from your behind to the inner part of your leg. If this happens to you, you should know that you may have radiculopathy. But, your doctor should always be the one to diagnose you.
4. When Should I See a Doctor?
The pain from any type of herniated disc will prevent you from leading a normal life. You won’t be able to walk normally, work, or even lift weights. You will have difficulty sleeping and it will even be hard to sit down on a chair.
If these symptoms last for two straight weeks, see a doctor so that they can do the corresponding tests to diagnose you.
Doctors say you should go to the emergency room if you experience urinary incontinence or uncontrolled sphincters. In this case, the hernia is making your normal body functions difficult which means that it is obviously serious and should be resolved.
Slipped discs generally need surgery. But don’t worry, they can be cured successfully and will allow you to go back to your normal life. As you already know, pay attention to the symptoms and pain. Don’t hesitate to ask your doctor about any sign that you notice. Your quality of life deserves it.