Disc pain symptoms can take many forms and, although it may seem easier to simply say, “My back hurts,” you should know that specific descriptions of your symptoms are helpful for any doctor to effectively diagnose your spine condition and to prescribe an appropriate course of treatment.
Granted, it can be hard to articulate physical pain, especially when you’re faced with the stress of back and neck discomfort on a daily basis. But, you might be surprised to learn that there are several ways you can describe disc pain symptoms. Let’s look at a few of them:
- Mechanical pain – this is a type of acute pain that usually flares up with movement. For instance, if you cough, move suddenly, or sit forward too quickly, you might cause a sharp episode of pain. Mechanical disc pain could be caused by a herniated or bulging disc.
- Neuropathic pain – this is pain caused by neural compression or neural pinching. Many back and neck conditions, such as bulging discs, cause neuropathic back disc pain because the damaged intervertebral disc infringes on nerve pathways of the central nervous system. Neuropathic pain is most commonly characterized by the disc pain symptoms of burning or stabbing.
- Nociceptive pain – this pain is caused by stimulation of the nociceptors, which are sensory neurons that send signals of pain directly to the spinal cord and brain. For instance, damage to sensory organs, like the skin, trigger nociceptive pain. Characterized by aching, stinging, burning, or throbbing. nociceptive pain usually goes away after a short period of time.
- Chronic pain – this type of pain is long-lasting; it may even persist even though the original injury that caused the pain has healed, because pain signals remain in the nervous system. Degenerative arthritis of the spine often causes chronic pain. Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts more than 3 months.
- Acute pain – this type of pain begins suddenly and can be very severe in nature, but it is not long-lasting. Medically speaking, acute pain is defined as pain that lasts less than 3 months.
If you feel that you have recently experienced any of these disc pain symptoms, it is time to contact your physician. He or she will perform a physical exam, an MRI or CT scan, and will most likely prescribe a regimen of non-invasive therapy. If this proves ineffective, the experts at Laser Spine Institute (LSI) can tell you about our minimally invasive, endoscopic procedures that have helped tens of thousands of people rediscover a life without disc pain symptoms. Contact us for a free review of your MRI or CT scan.