Author: Texas Spine Associates

What Are Signs of a Slipped Disc?

What are the signs of a slipped disc? They are exactly the same as a herniated disc, bulging disc, or a ruptured disc, since they are all generally the same. The terms are interchangeable. It mostly occurs in the lumbar region or lower part of your back and spine, although it can also happen in the neck area. We will continue to use the term “slipped” throughout and help you understand how to recognize a slipped disc, what can cause it, and what to do about it.

What Is a Slipped Disc?

Our spine consists of bones known as vertebrae. In between each vertebrae is a flexible cushion known as a disc which helps us to move and twist. Inside is a rubbery jelly-like cushion called the nucleus which is covered by a tougher exterior called the annulus.

If there is a tear in the annulus and some of the nucleus pushes out, that is a slipped disc. Some people experience no symptoms with a slipped disc, but others do and it’s quite painful.

Common Risk Factors for Developing a Slipped Disc

A slipped disc can affect people of all ages.

People most likely to be susceptible include those who:

  • Are overweight
  • Have certain occupations which are physically demanding, requiring repetitive lifting, pulling, and pushing, plus repetitive bending sideways and twisting
  • Have a genetic disposition
  • Who smoke
  • Drive frequently
  • Live a sedentary lifestyle

Back pain is the leading reason for lost work hours, workmen’s compensations, and trips to the emergency room. Consider making some lifestyle changes to prevent a slipped disc.

What Are Common Signs of a Slipped Disc?

It’s easy to confuse a muscle strain with a slipped disc. A muscle strain in your lower back is characterized by aching local pain during the strain. There may be swelling, inflammation, and even bruising.

A slipped disc has sharp and radiating pain instead of the localized aching pain of a muscle strain. There may be neurological symptoms like numbness and tingling. A slipped disc may also cause weakness in your arms or legs. You will especially have pain while you are sitting.

Sciatica pain is similar with its radiating pain down the thigh and legs.

Immediately see a professional if your pain worsens, if you have bladder or bowel dysfunction, and if you experience saddle anesthesia. This is a numbness in your inner thighs, back of the legs, genitals or around the rectum. These symptoms can be a medical emergency.

What to Avoid With a Slipped Disc

Refrain from stretching and moving too much and don’t try to treat yourself. You should immediately make an appointment to see Texas Spine Associates for an evaluation and diagnosis at one of our nine spine clinics in the DFW area.

Pain can become more severe with certain tasks, so be sure to:

  • Specifically avoid bending forward or down
  • Refrain from lifting anything heavy
  • Don’t push or pull anything heavy
  • Try to avoid coughing or sneezing

How Is a Slipped Disc Treated?

Your spine specialist may treat your slipped disc with medication, physical therapy, injections to relieve inflammation and pain, along with some suggestions for lifestyle modifications.

If you are experiencing signs of a slipped disc, contact Texas Spine Associates for a proper diagnosis and treatment. Give us a call at (972) 987-0969 or request an appointment through our secure online form. We have spine clinics in Arlington, Cleburne, Fort Worth, Flower Mound, Granbury, Irving, North Irving, Southlake, and Weatherford.

What Does It Mean to “Throw Your Back Out”?

It can happen in the most innocuous ways like bending down to tie your shoes. You are suddenly in extreme pain, you can barely stand up straight, and getting into a car is a non-starter. You probably have your own story about throwing your back out, and you remember it well. So exactly what does it mean to “throw your back out”?

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What Is the Difference Between Sciatica and Sacroiliitis?

80% of Americans will experience back pain at some point in their lives. It may come from work issues, playing sports, or just putting on their shoes. Sciatica and sacroiliitis are common among these. Dull ache vs shooting pain is just one difference between the two conditions. The symptoms, causes, and treatments for these two conditions are different. What is the difference between sciatica and sacroiliitis?

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Why Do I Need to Quit Smoking Before Having Spine Surgery?

Smokers and non-smokers alike are aware that smoking negatively affects someone’s overall health. What you might not know is how smoking affects if and how you heal after any surgery. Having surgery on your spine portends some specific issues if you are a smoker. Let’s investigate why you need to quit smoking before having spine surgery.

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6 Ways To Avoid Holiday Back Pain

“It’s the most wonderful time of the year”… sang Andy Williams decades ago, but it still plays on those radio stations that start holiday music at Halloween. Maybe they do it just to give you a head start on stress. You know, the shopping, decorating, wrapping gifts, assembling toys, planning holiday dinners, and you can fill in the rest-stress. Somebody somewhere might be happy, but it’s certainly not you, especially if you have back issues. Keep reading for 6 ways to avoid holiday back pain.

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Should You Exercise Through Lower Back Pain?

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, two-thirds of Americans have lower back pain sometime during their lives. It’s what to do with and about that pain that matters.  Should you exercise through lower back pain? The common sense answer to you now may be: if “it hurts when you do this,” then don’t do it.

All joking aside, chronic lower back pain can result in a lot of adults losing time at work, and it can interfere with normal day to day activities. The last thing you want to do is exacerbate the injury and increase the pain.

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Back Spasms: Causes and How to Find Relief

You’re sitting quietly at a meeting or at dinner and you suddenly get up. At that moment you are hit with a crippling back cramp. You grab your back and wonder what the heck happened. It was probably a back spasm. It came on in just a second and lasted a minute or two before the pain began to diminish. If you have ever had one (or more than one), keep reading about back spasms, causes and how to find relief.

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The Dangers of Leaving Whiplash Injury Untreated

Frequently whiplash is the result of a car accident, sometimes it can be a fall, or even playing certain sports. It will hurt the first day or so, but if the pain is relieved by over-the-counter medications, you may be tempted to do nothing further. That would be a mistake. The dangers of leaving whiplash injury untreated can last a lifetime.

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Am I a Candidate for Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery?

Most everyone deals with back pain at some point in their life. If it becomes chronic and is diagnosed as a serious condition, a doctor might recommend surgery to treat the pain. There is a monumental difference between traditional open surgery and one which is minimally invasive. If you suddenly find yourself in this position, your first question might be: am I a candidate for minimally invasive spine surgery?

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