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Herniated Disc Symptoms, Causes and Diagnosis

Medical Information:
Name: Disc Herniation
ICD 10 Code: M51.26
Affected Anatomy: Spinal Discs, Thecal compression, Deviation of Vertebral Alignment
Common Causes: Deviation of Vertebral bodies, Changes in tissues, Chronic inflamatory conditions, anklosing spondilo arthrosis, Whiplash, Facet Sprains, Trauma.
Typical Symptoms: localized pain in the spine, numbness and tingling in arms, legs hands and feet, neurogenic bladder, incontinence, loss of muscle tone, loss of streangth.
Risk Factors: Nutrition, Supplementation, Whiplash, lack of exercise and conditioning, sports injuries, Degenerative spinal disease.

Herniated Disc Symptoms

A herniated disc is a dysfunction that is remarkably painful and consequently incapacitating.

Though herniated disc symptoms may be eased after several weeks, surgery might be needed should herniated disc symptoms continue or become severe.

What a slipped disc will involve, avoidance and identification.

What is a herniated disc?

Herniated discÃ??Ã? is also referred to as slipped disc. The backbone is composed of twenty-six bones. Between each vertebrae rest padding, named discs, that help to keep vertebrae in place as well as soak up impact.

Vertebral discs have a soft hub and a stronger surface.

A disc prolapse comes about once any of the soft interior leaks through a break in the discs exterior. Often this occurs in the spine but it could happen with the the cervical vertebrae.

The escape of viscous fluid coming from the discs is believed to put out toxins that irritate nerves around the surrounding area and lead to severe pain. Additionally, there is the possibility that the slipped disc will compress nerves which causes pain through nerve entrapment.

A slipped disc can lead to weakness or numbness in other parts in the body. In contrast some with a herniated disc experience no related pain primarily if the disc doesn't entrap nerves.

A small survey on symptom free volunteers found that about half had some extent of slipped disc that did not result in any suffering.

Signs of Slipped Disc

Sometimes herniated discs are not associated with any symptoms. When herniated disc symptoms exist they generally manifest as:

  • Pins and needles: this can appear in the region of the body around the compressed nerve.
  • Physical weakness: muscles encompassing the affected nerve will become weaker contributing to stumbling while on a walk.
  • Back Pain: When there are herniated discs in the lower back, pain is felt in the hips, thighs, calves and feet. This is often called neuralgia because irritation moves along the sciatic nerve. If the problem is with the neck the pain is felt in the arms and shoulders. Sharp movements such as sneezing could prompt acute pain.

Factors behind Herniated Disc

Typically the cause of a prolapsed disc is everyday wear and tear of the disc from recurring movement over the years. With time spinal discs relinquish water. This decrease in water forces discs to end up less supple and therefore more prone to break.

It isn't invariably likely to remember the exact instant problems with a disc started. Although it commonly appears while picking up things while not bending the knee or by turning while picking up heavy objects.

Risk Factors for Herniated Disc

Prolapsed discs may occur at any age but they're most common with patients in their twenties and thirties. Factors that expand the possibility of a herniated disc include:

  • Weight: Being obese applies additional tension on the lower area of the back
  • Heriditary: Predisposition to prolapsed discs might be hereditary
  • Profession: Individuals having physically rigorous positions that requires pulling, twisting or pushing

Complications of a Slipped Disc

Below the waistline the spinal-cord divides into individual nerves referenced as the cauda equina. Rarely these nerves collectively become compressed.

When this occurs it can bring on lasting physical weakness, paralysis, reduced bladder and bowel regulation, and impotence; if this occurs surgery may be the only choice.

Look for advice from your doctor if you think:

  • There's bowel and bladder problems
  • Weakness advances preventing regular routines
  • Numbness over the back of legs, buttock and inner thighs, saddle anesthesia, has become increasingly more severe

Diagnosis of a Slipped Disc

Examining symptoms and causes of a herniated disc doctor will be able to diagnose a slipped disc. To conclude the symptoms are due to a herniated disc doctor is likely to test:

  • Reflexes
  • Possible existence of delicate areas in the back
  • Muscle strength
  • Range of motion
  • Ability to walk
  • Level of sensitivity to touch

Prior to diagnosing a herniated disc doctor may order X-rays to eliminate other potential causes of the signs or symptoms.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging, or MRI, will locate the herniated disc and the impacted nerves.

Computerized Tomography (CT) produces a series of X-rays for creating cross sectional images of the spine together with tissues around it.

Discogram (discography) helps to recognize holes in individual discs.

Myelogram shows pressure along the spinal cord and nerves due to a herniated disc.


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