A guide to the symptoms of a prolapsed disc

A prolapsed disc, also known as a herniated disc, occurs when the inner material of a spinal disc begins to push out through a tear in the outer layer. While this condition is not always painful, it can cause debilitating symptoms that can seriously disrupt your life, taking you away from your favorite people and activities.

Whether you have been diagnosed with a prolapsed disc or you are researching potential causes of your neck pain, back pain or other symptoms, it is important to educate yourself as a patient. The following guide to the symptoms of a prolapsed disc can help you be more informed and engaged as you work with your doctor to find the relief you deserve.

Specific symptoms of a prolapsed disc

Symptoms of a prolapsed disc are usually related to compression of the spinal cord or a nerve root by displaced disc material. These symptoms can include:

  • Local aching and pain
  • Shooting pain into the upper or lower extremities
  • Radiating symptoms like tingling, numbness and muscle weakness

The location of the symptoms typically depends on the spinal region where the prolapsed disc has developed. For example a cervical (upper) prolapsed disc can cause neck pain and symptoms in the shoulders and arms, while a lumbar (lower) prolapsed disc affects the lower back, hips, buttocks and legs.

Treatment options for a prolapsed disc

Now that you know what the symptoms and causes of a prolapsed disc are, it can be easier to educate yourself on treatment options. Doctors will typically advise you to begin a treatment program consisting of conservative measures like physical therapy, medication, hot/cold therapy, low-impact exercise or therapeutic massage. Typically, these options are very effective in managing the symptoms of a prolapsed disc. However, if you’ve been unable to find relief after weeks or months of conservative treatment, contact Laser Spine Institute today. Our minimally invasive spine surgery is an outpatient alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures, offering our patients a shorter recovery time^ with less risk of complication.

If you’d like to find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures, our team will be happy to provide a no-cost MRI review.*