Five common symptoms of a collapsed disc

A collapsed disc is a disc in the spine that has worn down as the spine gradually degenerates with age. Unlike other degenerative disc conditions that cause a disc to bulge outward, a collapsed disc loses height and stability, causing the space between the two surrounding vertebrae to shrink. This limited space in the spine could lead to a pinched nerve and painful symptoms.

For many patients, the symptoms of a collapsed disc are the first indicators that a condition in the spine has developed. In order to be proactive about finding treatment for your condition, you should be aware of the five common symptoms of a collapsed disc so you can identify the signs early and schedule an appointment with your doctor. The five common symptoms of a collapsed disc include:

  1. Pain — The most common symptom of a collapsed disc is pain. This pain can be local to the area of the disc, or it can stretch the length of the pinched nerve and reach into the arm or leg. Sometimes the pain will be mild in the beginning and then worsen with time.
  2. Numbness — A collapsed disc can interfere with the sensory signals a nerve is relaying to a muscle in the arm or leg. If this happens, a person may experience numbness in the affected extremity.
  3. Tingling — Much like numbness, tingling is a common symptom of a collapsed disc that has interfered with the nerve signals to the extremities. Some patients experience seemingly random tingling in the fingers or toes, depending on the severity of the nerve compression.
  4. Difficulty walking — For many people, a common symptom of a collapsed disc is difficulty walking. The disc that spaces the vertebrae has shrunk, causing the vertebrae to have less room to hinge and move. This can make walking seem stiff and painful.
  5. Sharp pain during certain movements — This can be one of the first indicators that a condition has developed in the spine. As the space between the vertebrae narrows, certain movements can cause a nerve to be temporarily compressed. This is an indication that space in the spine is being restricted and you should see a doctor.

If you’ve been diagnosed with a collapsed disc and you would like to learn about your treatment options, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We can provide you with a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive spine surgeries.