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What are the Symptoms and Diagnosis of a Herniated Disk?

A herniated disk is a condition that causes a problem on the disks that sit between a person’s vertebrae that stack to make your spine. A herniated disk that appears in any part of the spine irritates nearby nerves. Depending on where a herniated disk occurs, it causes numbness, pain, or weakness in a leg or arm. A herniated disk in Ramsey has successful treatment options that are non-invasive and don’t include strong medication.

Symptoms of herniated disks

Most herniated disks happen in the lower back, but they can also occur in the neck. Symptoms depend on where the disk is located and if the disk is adding pressure on the nerves. They normally affect one side of the body.

Arm or leg pain. If your herniated disk is located at your lower back, you will feel pain in the calf, buttocks, and thigh. If the herniated disk is in the neck, you will experience severe pain in your arm and shoulder. This pain might spread to the leg or arm when you sneeze, cough, and move into some positions. The pain is described to be burning and sharp.

Numbness or tingling. People with herniated disks have radiating tingling or numbness in the body part with the affected nerves.

Weakness. Muscles using the affected nerves seem to weaken. This can affect the ability to hold items and lift things and cause you to stumble.

Herniated disk diagnosis

The best way to know if you have herniated disks is to see your doctor. The doctor will do a physical examination to determine the source of the pain. The doctor will look for painful and sore spots. He will ask you to lie on your back and move your legs. If by doing this, you feel pain, you can be experiencing a herniated disk.

If the doctor wants to highlight the source of the pain, he can do further testing, including:

X-rays. If the x-ray can’t show if you are experiencing a herniated disk, it can reveal to the doctor your spine, and notify you of the causes of the pain, such as tumor or fracture.

Myelogram. The test uses dye injected into the spinal fluid and x-ray to show pressure on the spine.

Nerve conduction studies (NCS). They are performed at the same time as an electromyogram. The nerves are roused with electrical impulses by electrodes at a point in the body. The time taken for electrical impulses to travel between the electrodes enables the doctor to know if there is nerve damage.

Electromyogram (EMG). Your doctor can use this test to determine if the nerves are compressed or damaged. EMG uses an instrument to detect the small amounts of electricity muscle cells make when roused by nerves connecting them. The doctor can put a needle electrode into the muscle to record and look for anything dislocated.

Herniated discs can heal independently through a process called resorption. Most people suffering from herniated discs react positively to treatment and do not require surgery. You don’t have to struggle with herniated disk condition anymore; Progressive Spine & Sports Medicine have specialized doctors who will guide and treat you accordingly. Book an appointment today.