Back pain is one of the most common ailments among adults. The cause can range from a minor situation, such as muscle strain, to a more serious concern, like a slipped disc.
Slipped discs are incredibly painful and, in some cases, can lead to permanent disability. But what exactly is a slipped disc?
Our spines are comprised of a stack of small bones known as vertebrae. A cushy disc separates each bone and acts as a shock absorbent when walking and other movements.
The disc’s outer shell can weaken or tear as we age or due to an injury. Sometimes when that happens, the jelly-like substance inside the disc starts to come out. Depending on the severity, the resulting damage is called a slipped, ruptured, or herniated disc.
In some instances, physical therapy is enough to repair the slipped disc, but surgery is sometimes the only recourse. After an examination, qualified doctors at a disc and spine center can determine if a slipped disc is the cause of your pain.
These three symptoms could indicate a slipped disc.
1. Leg or Arm Pain
Slipped discs are often seen in the lower back and are caused by lifting too much weight or repetitive movements. However, slipped discs can happen at any point along the spine, including the neck.
Pain in the arms or legs, especially when sitting, could mean you have a slipped disc. In many cases, certain activities can aggravate the pain, even something as simple as sitting down. The pain radiates to the problem area on your spine.
Often, the pain can last for several days until the inflammation goes down and we return to ‘normal.’ But another ‘wrong move’ is on the horizon, and the next time, it can affect your mobility for the rest of your life.
2. Tingling or Numbness
Tingling or numbness in your arms and legs could indicate any number of health issues, including a disc injury. The tingling or numbness can occur when bending over, using your computer mouse, or even walking.
Slipped discs in the lower spine can even cause tingling and numbness in your feet. Sitting down can aggravate the pain by putting more pressure on the spine. Yoga is one recommendation for easing the pain of a slipped disc.
3. Weakness in Extremities
Pain and tingling aren’t the only signs of a possible slipped disc. Experiencing weakness in the arms or legs is another indication that you may have a disc injury.
For example, if your legs suddenly feel weak while walking, don’t brush it off as just losing your footing. Weakness in the arms and legs could mean a slipped disc in your spine. Weakness in the arms due to a slipped disc can cause difficulty holding objects or reaching your arms above your head.
Without medical intervention, slipped discs can quickly become a medical emergency. Don’t brush off pain, numbness, or weakness in the arms and legs as old age or being clumsy. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, make an appointment with a spine specialist.