Slipped disc symptoms

The human spine has 26 vertebrae. A jelly like substance in between each vertebra is called a disk. The disc acts as a cushion between each vertebra. If you have ever had a slipped disc you know that the symptoms can be excruciating pain. A slipped disc is a term used to describe a bulging disc or a herniated disk and is actually the slippage of the jelly like substance that is cushioning the vertebrae. This means that the inner part of the disc is begging to slip outwards from the center of the spinal column. As it slips out it can put pressure on the outer fibrous layers of the disc and nearby nerves.

Slipped disc symptoms depend on what disc has slipped and what structures the bulge is compressing or pressing on. Some slipped discs produce no symptoms at all if no nearby nerves are being compressed. As a result, some people will have no slipped disc symptoms and will not even know they have one unless an MRI scan is done and a bulge detected. Also, some people may not perceive any pain from a slipped disc if they have a high pain threshold. Others may have a disc that has slipped slightly and be in an extreme amount of pain if their pain threshold is low.

If the slipped disc is in the lower back the symptoms may be pain that radiates out and down through the buttocks through the back part of the leg all the way down to the foot. This condition is a herniated or slipped disc in the lower back that produces sciatica pain because it compresses the sciatic nerve. Other slipped disc symptoms can be a pain in the back that is localized. Slipped discs can happen anywhere in the spinal column and can produce different symptoms of pain. For instance, some slipped disc symptoms can be pain in the back of the neck or in the arms etc. Slipped disc symptoms and their severity can also depend on whether or not inflammation is present. If inflammation is present then even the slightest movement of the back can be painful. Anti-inflammatory drugs can be prescribed to help reduce inflammation in these cases.

Anytime you have pain, weakness or numbness in the back, legs, arms, neck or shoulders it can be a symptom of a slipped disc. The location of the symptoms in the body is usually associated with the location of the slippage. For instance, a sharp dull pain in the back of the neck, between the shoulder blades, can be caused by a slipped disc in the cervical area of the spine. The symptoms of a slipped disc can increase or decrease depending on movement. Muscle spasms may also be present. If your muscles in the back feel cramped up and twisted in knots it can be due to a slipped disc.

If you are experiencing slipped disc symptoms you should go to a medical doctor or a chiropractor to get checked out. A medical exam will be given and diagnostic testing done. Diagnostic testing for a slipped disc usually includes having an magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) test done as well as an x-ray and computerized axial tomography (CAT) done. The treatment for slipped disc symptoms will vary depending on what kind of doctor you go to. If you go to a chiropractor they can do adjustments on your back to try to get the disk to slip back in place. A medical doctor will prescribe pain medication, anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy for treatment. If the symptoms are bad enough or if the slipped disc is really bulging, surgery may be advised.

Last updated on Jul 10th, 2010 and filed under Musculoskeletal Disorders. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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