The sensation of numbness and tingling from herniated discs is an all-too-common symptom of undue pressure being placed on nerve tissue in the spine. So what’s to blame for this phenomenon? And what can be done to address the frustrating pain, numbness, and tingling you feel every day?
Resting between each vertebra in the human spine is a soft, oval-shaped cushion of joint cartilage called a disc, and these discs provide important padding for the back and neck. In the case of a herniated back disc, a disc has split open and expelled some of its contents into the spinal canal, which can compress the adjoining nerve roots and spinal cord. The compression is what leads to back and neck pain or even feelings of weakness, numbness, and tingling. The severity and symptoms vary largely on the location of the herniated disc. A cervical herniated disc will likely give you aches and pains in your neck, shoulders, arms, and hands. A lumbar herniated disc, on the other hand, can result in an intense burning sensation – as well as numbness and tingling – that travels from your lower back to your legs and feet.
Not all herniated discs are painful, and they can often go undetected without an MRI. But, in the event that a nerve root has been affected by a herniated back disc, nearly any part of the body can experience symptoms – not just the neck and back. This is because the nerve roots are the body’s way of sending and receiving signals – such as pain, pressure and sensation – to and from the extremities. Anytime a nerve root becomes irritated, therefore, improper signals like tingling and numbness will be felt along the entire length of the nerve.
Fortunately, there are a number of options for addressing the pain, numbness, and tingling from herniated discs in the spine. After conferring with a physician, a treatment plan will be made for the patient, ranging from a conservative course of action to a surgical alternative. The typical process for diagnosing herniated disc pain is as follows:
- Visit the physician for a medical background and physical exam
- Complete a MRI or CT scan
- Receive a herniated disc diagnosis
- Consider multiple treatment options
Should conservative treatments not alleviate the pain, numbness, and tingling from herniated discs, a surgical option may be considered. If this is your diagnosis, contact the award-winning staff at Laser Spine Institute (LSI) to learn about our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures available to help alleviate pain. Living with a herniated disc does not have to be a way of life. Get on the road to recovery with LSI today.