Disc extrusion symptoms
Disc extrusion symptoms will vary depending on the severity of the extrusion, or herniation, and its location along the spine. However, understanding how to recognize the symptoms is a vital part of the diagnostic process.
If you begin to experience symptoms that may be caused by an extruded disc, write down some notes about the location, severity, nature and frequency of your discomfort. The more information you can give your physician, the more accurate the diagnosis will be.
Understanding referred disc extrusion symptoms
Symptoms of a disc extrusion may be hard to identify because the discomfort is often referred pain, which is pain that occurs in a region of the body that’s different from the actual site of the condition.
Below is a brief description of how an extruded disc in the neck or back can cause referred pain in the extremities:
- Extrusion — This is due to degeneration or injury, when the outer wall of a spinal disc tears and the inner disc material extrudes into the spinal canal. This extrusion can lead to nerve compression. The primary cause of disc extrusion is degeneration associated with the natural aging process, which cannot always be prevented.
- Compression — This occurs when the extruded inner disc material compresses nearby spinal nerves. These nerves are responsible for sending sensory and motor signals throughout the body, including the arms, hands, legs and feet. A compressed nerve will send a distress signal to the brain.
- Pain — You feel pain when the brain interprets signals from the compressed nerve and tells the affected regions of the body to react accordingly. Mild nerve compression can cause radiating pain, while prolonged, severe nerve compression can cause the nerve to fail, leading to disc extrusion symptoms of weakness, tingling, numbness or muscle atrophy.
Minimally invasive treatment options
For many people who experience a disc extrusion, surgery may not be required to achieve lasting pain relief. If you have a disc extrusion, you may be able to find relief using nonsurgical treatment.
Your physician will likely suggest nonsurgical disc extrusion treatments that may include pain medication, gentle yoga, behavior modification, low-impact exercise or other options.
If weeks or months of nonsurgical treatments have not helped you find relief, you may have surgical options. Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive spine surgery to help treat the root causes of disc extrusion, without the highly invasive nature and lengthy recovery^ of traditional open spine surgery.
Our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures are performed on an outpatient basis and have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain. Contact us today for your no-cost MRI review* to find out if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.