3 Signs You May Have a Slipped Disc

A slipped disk is a common spinal injury. A slipped disc may also be referred to as a herniated disc, bulging disc, protruding disc, or a ruptured disc.

Spinal discs sit between the vertebrae, where they provide cushioning and support. Spinal discs provide shock absorption to the bones of the spine. When strong and flexible, they help the spine lift, twist, and bend fluidly. 

It is natural for discs to become stiff and less flexible with age, known as disc degeneration. Discs are then more prone to injury or damage. 

A slipped disc or herniated disc occurs when the outer shell of the disc tears or breaks. It releases the disc’s inner fluid into the spinal canal. Slipped discs commonly occur along the lumbar and cervical regions of the spine.  

A slipped disc can cause significant pain and weakness. Sometimes, it can be challenging to walk or even stand. This article will address three common signs of a slipped disc. 

1. Numbness or Weakness

Many patients experience numbness or weakness that extends down the arms and legs. When the inner material of damaged discs leaks into the spinal canal, nearby nerves become irritated or compressed. Often it is the sciatica nerve that is affected.

Compression of the sciatic nerve can cause pain, numbness, and weakness down one side of the body. It may travel down the lower back, buttocks, thighs, or calves. It can feel like a deep ache or a burning sensation. 

If the slipped disc is in the neck, it can cause one-sided pain, weakness, numbness, or tingling down the neck into the shoulder, arms and hand. 

Numbness and weakness are commonly associated with a slipped disc and should be discussed with your doctor. 

2. Pain With Activity 

Pain from a slipped disc is common and can worsen with certain movements. Sometimes it can be caused by prolonged sitting, standing, or walking. It can also be made worse by bending or leaning over forward. 

Sudden movements can also trigger a sharp, stabbing, or electric sensation. It may be felt when you move suddenly, such as when coughing or sneezing. This can increase pressure on the spine and spinal nerves, intensifying the pain.

When the pain in your back significantly impacts daily movement, it is essential to see a spine surgeon, such as our spine surgeon in Fort Lauderdale, for a proper diagnosis. 

3. Finding Pain Relief With Rest

Some patients find they experience relief from their pain when they are resting. One helpful position is to lie flat on your back, knees bent and supported with a pillow. Sitting in a recliner chair can also be beneficial in relieving pressure on the spine. 

Since rest is helpful in pain management, try to avoid activities that can trigger pain. But patients should also be aware that too much rest or immobilization can cause more pain and stiffness, so you must reach a balance. 

Sometimes low, impact activities such as swimming or simple stretching can be helpful without causing too much pain. 

If you notice pain relief when at rest, remember that it may be a sign of a slipped disc if other symptoms are also present. 

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Slipped Disc? Visit a top spine surgeon in Palm Beach County

Dr. Hepler is a leading orthopedic spine surgeon in Delray Beach and Fort Lauderdale. He is fellowship-trained for both pediatric and adult spine surgery. 

Dr. Hepler successfully treats a variety of spinal conditions, including: 

  • Scoliosis
  • Kyphosis
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Disc herniations
  • Radiculopathy
  • Discogenic disc disease
  • Lumbar and cervical stenosis
  • Traumatic and osteoporotic fractures

And more!

You don’t have to suffer in pain; it’s time to get the best diagnosis and treatment that Palm Beach County has to offer. 

Get the proper diagnosis and treatment from Dr, Matthew Hepler. If you have concerns about your spinal health, then contact us today! 

The material contained on this site is for informational purposes only and DOES NOT CONSTITUTE THE PROVIDING OF MEDICAL ADVICE, and is not intended to be a substitute for independent professional medical judgment, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your health.