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Herniated Disc Advice Articles

Herniated Disc Symptoms

By Peter Johnson

A herniated disc may occur on any part of your spine.  However, most cases of a herniated disc occur in the lower area called the lumbar spine.  Some cases also are referred to as cervical herniated disc where the damaged disc is found on the neck area, while it is rare for cases to occur in the thoracic spine.


As a person ages, his or her discs become dry and brittle and not as flexible anymore.  For these reasons, the disc has a great tendency to wear out and tear; thus, resulting in a herniated disc.  A herniated disc symptom can serve as a warning sign to let one know that it is time to adjust the physical activities (or lack thereof) one is participating in.  Any spinal injury will bring some tear or crack in the disc’s outer layer, which is called the annulus fibrosus.  As this happens, the gel-like substance inside the disc will protrude or bulge out into the outer layer.  As the disc bulge out, it will compress on some sensitive nerves causing some pain that is commonly felt in the low back area or as far down as the legs. In this instance a herniated disc can be confirmed.


Numbness and muscle weakness on the lower part of the body is another herniated disc symptom.  A herniated disc developed within the lower back, oftentimes yield some numbness from the buttocks down the leg.  This is referred to as sciatica and is considered to be the most common herniated disc symptom.  Other signs of a herniated disc are leg pains that usually occur on one particular leg, loss of bladder and bowel control and pain on the thigh area particularly the front part.


In the case where herniated discs are not pressing on any nerve, then you are not likely to feel any symptoms of it.  The signs are basically because of the nerves being compressed or disturbed by the bulging discs. 


Aside from a herniated disc symptom, doctors come up with diagnosis by throwing up questions related to disc damages and by some physical examinations.  If the signs are clearly pointing at a herniated disc condition, other advanced tests like the MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) and CT (computer tomography) scan may not be necessary anymore. A herniated disc occurs frequently in people who do little exercise and sit in fron of the computer for extended periods of time without any change.


Symptoms usually get better after some weeks or months with enough rest and proper exercise.  It is important to give yourself some time to relax, in order not to strain further the affected nerve behind your back. As you rest, your spine will gradually realign releasing the pinched nerve  For some, keeping active helps, like walking and other light activities.  Maintaining a proper posture is likewise befitting and favorable.


After the period of rest has been adhered to your doctor or physician should recommend a series of back exercises which will strengthen the lumbar spine hence reducing the future occurrence of a herniated disc. This will help to further eliminate any future symptoms of a herniated disc.


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