How Do I Know if I Have a Herniated Disc?
Back pain can have a variety of causes. You can get it from sitting all day. You can get it from hunching over a computer. You can get it from sleeping on a bad mattress, from pulling a muscle, or from exerting yourself doing physical labor. Sometimes, back pain can go away with rest and a heating pad. Sometimes, it becomes chronic and plagues you with pain day after day.
How do you know if you have back pain because you need a massage or an alignment from a chiropractor or because there’s a more serious problem like a herniated disc?
Here are some of the common symptoms of having a herniated disc:
Lower Back Pain
Back pain doesn’t occur anywhere when you have a herniated disc. It appears specifically in the lower back. The pain is typically dull and throbbing, not sharp. It’s usually accompanied by stiffness, as well. So your lower back will be sore, and you won’t feel like you can move it much.
You can have a herniated disc without having lower back pain, so don’t take an absence of pain as a sign that you don’t have a problem. You can also have a herniated disc that causes occasional lower back spasms, so don’t take those as a sign that you don’t have a problem.
Sure, the problem may be in your back, but that doesn’t mean that the pain will be limited to your back. A herniated disc can also cause pain in your legs – and the pain is typically worse than it is in your back. A herniated disc can also cause sciatica, which manifests as pain radiating from your lower back or hips down the back of your leg.
Pain that Gets Worse with Movement
A herniated disc not only causes pain in your back and legs, but it can cause that pain to get worse with movement. Pain typically worsens when you sit or stand for long periods. It can get worse even if you just take a short walk. Slouching, hunching forward, or even bending at the waist can make leg pain worse. Other movements that can exacerbate the pain include sneezing, laughing, coughing, or any other sudden movement. So, pretty much most of the movement you do during the course of a normal day can make your back or leg pain worse.
Occasionally, you may get nerve pain in your leg or back if you have a herniated disc. You’ll know it’s nerve pain because it will be sudden and severe. The sharp pain will feel like something is stabbing you. The pain has also been described as searing, electric, or radiating. It can last a few seconds or a few minutes, but it should not last.
You won’t experience neurological issues that will affect your mental or cognitive abilities, but you can experience neurological symptoms that will affect you physically if you have a herniated disc. For example, you may get numbness or tingling in your leg, foot, or toes. You may also have a pins-and-needles feeling, or you may have weakness in those extremities. You may even find it hard to lift your foot when you are walking or when you are standing on the ball of your foot. The last symptom is described as “foot drop.”
Having a herniated disc can be disabling. You can have pain in your back, buttocks, thighs, calf, feet, and toes. The pain can be searing, or it can be dull, throbbing, and consistent. You should talk to a doctor about treatment options to relieve the pressure and the pain. In some cases, surgery may be needed. In some cases, visiting a chiropractic clinic for herniated disc treatment may help.
At Body Workz in Arizona, you can get chiropractic treatments for herniated disc. A chiropractor will examine you and take stock of your symptoms before coming up with a plan for herniated disc treatment. Through regular visits, you can get pain relief and improve your back health. Our other therapies, such as massage therapy and acupuncture, may also provide some relief for your pain. Call us in Arizona to learn about chiropractic treatments for herniated disc and make an appointment.