Symptoms of Herniated Disc
Generally, a herniated disc does not cause any pain or discomfort unless the disc portion impinges upon the spinal nerves. The most common symptom of a herniated disc is low back pain, which is often described as sudden, sharp pain that involves the buttocks and the back portion of one leg. Commonly, the pain becomes worse at night and while standing or walking for short distances. This is associated with muscle weakness, numbness, tingling sensations in the arms and legs, and loss of control over urination and bowel movements. A burning type of pain in the neck, shoulders, and arms may also occur.
Diagnosis of Herniated Disc
Initially, a doctor will listen to a patient's symptoms and perform a careful physical examination, during which the exact source of the pain is detected. The examination usually involves evaluating the functions of a patient's nerve and muscle strength. Imaging tests, such as X-rays, computed tomography (CT), and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans may be ordered to visualize the defect in the bones, as well as the soft tissue associated with the spine.