How do I recognize back pain from a herniated disc?
A herniated disc occurs when the spinal disc, a fluid-filled gelatinous capsule between each vertebra, ruptures and presses on the nerves running through and around the spine. Back pain can be caused by a herniated disc, although some people don't feel any pain from a herniated disc. If pain occurs, it can manifest as constant pain on one side of the body, and back pain isn't the only type of pain a herniated disc can cause. The pain may be felt in other parts of the body, depending on the location of the hernia.
Back pain from a herniated disc can occur in the lower back. One of the indicators that pain is the result of a herniated disc is the accompanying sciatica, which occurs when the sciatic nerve that runs from the lower back to each leg becomes compressed. A herniated disc can cause this compression, leading to pain in your back or even your buttocks, hips, or legs. In some cases, sciatica can also cause numbness in these areas or weakness and limited mobility.
If the spinal disc ruptures in another part of the spine, other parts of the body can be affected. Pain from a herniated disc is usually only felt on one side of the body, and the affected nerves can cause pain not only in the back, but also in the areas of the body served by that nerve. An arm and shoulder may feel pain, for example, or just one hip. These pains are usually constant; they don't pulse or come and go like other injuries would. In some cases, the pain can lead to limited mobility and constant discomfort as a result.
Only a medical professional can help you determine if the pain you are experiencing is actually caused by a herniated disc. An X-ray or MRI can reveal spinal disc damage and rule out other possibilities for the cause of the pain, such as tumors. Nerve pain and back pain can sometimes be caused by muscle strain or muscle strains, and it can be difficult to determine whether a herniated disc is partially or entirely to blame. Muscle strains usually heal on their own after several days or weeks, and the pain tends to come and go depending on how much rest the victim rests; The pain of a herniated disc is usually constant.