Category: Slipped Disc

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.