A herniated disc is a common condition that can cause significant pain and discomfort. Here at the University Pain Medicine Center, our providers have the expertise and experience to know the signs and symptoms of a herniated disc. We also understand that getting an early diagnosis is crucial for effective treatment. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing exceptional care and valuable information for our patients and the community.
Let’s explore five common signs that may indicate the presence of a herniated disc:
1. Back or neck pain
One of the primary symptoms of a herniated disc is localized pain in your back or neck, depending on the location of the affected disc. This pain can vary in intensity, from a dull ache to sharp, shooting pain. It often worsens with movements like bending, twisting, or lifting, as these actions put additional pressure on the damaged disc.
2. Radiating pain
A hallmark sign of a herniated disc is radiating pain that travels down your arms or legs. This pain is often described as a burning, tingling, or electric shock-like sensation.
The specific area affected depends on the location of the herniated disc. For example, a herniation in the lumbar spine can cause pain radiating down your legs, known as sciatica, while a herniation in the cervical spine can lead to pain in your arms and shoulders.
3. Muscle weakness
When a herniated disc compresses nearby nerves, it can result in muscle weakness. This weakness may manifest as difficulty in lifting or gripping objects, as well as a feeling of instability in the affected area. Muscle weakness can significantly impact your daily activities and should be evaluated by a health care professional from our team.
4. Numbness and tingling
Herniated discs can also lead to sensory changes, such as numbness and tingling, in the areas served by the affected nerves. For instance, if a disc in your lumbar region is herniated, you may experience numbness or tingling in your buttocks, thighs, or lower legs. These sensations can be persistent and may affect your ability to sense touch or temperature changes.
5. Changes in reflexes
In some cases, a herniated disc can cause changes in your reflexes. Reflexes are involuntary responses to stimuli, typically tested by tapping specific areas of your body with a reflex hammer. A herniated disc that compresses the nerves responsible for these reflexes can lead to abnormal or reduced reflex responses, which can be a sign of nerve impingement.
Recognizing the signs of a herniated disc is essential for seeking timely medical attention and appropriate treatment. At University Pain Medicine Center, our experienced team of specialists is here to help diagnose and manage herniated disc conditions. If you or a loved one is experiencing any of these common signs, we urge you to schedule an appointment with us. Early intervention can lead to better outcomes and a quicker return to a pain-free life.
Not all back or neck pain is indicative of a herniated disc. That’s why a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plans are key to effective pain management. Our compassionate team is dedicated to providing the highest quality care to help you regain your comfort and mobility.
Don’t let a herniated disc disrupt your life. Contact us today at one of our six New Jersey locations for an expert evaluation and personalized treatment options tailored to your needs. Your journey to pain relief and improved quality of life begin here.