Five common symptoms of a slipped disc

Many times, people think a slipped disc is a condition that develops only from an injury — a sudden trauma that results in pain and limited mobility. The truth, however, is that a slipped disc often develops slowly with age. By understanding what a slipped disc is and the symptoms commonly associated with it, you can identify the development of this condition early and begin treatment before the pain becomes debilitating.

A slipped disc is another name for a herniated disc or ruptured disc. This term refers to a spinal disc that has torn open due to the strain placed on it from the surrounding vertebrae. When the disc tears open, the fragmented disc material can press into a local nerve root or the spinal cord and cause painful symptoms. Read through the five most common symptoms of a slipped disc so you can be aware of this condition developing in your spine.

  1. Pain – The most common symptom of a slipped disc is pain. This pain often develops slowly and worsens with time. It will likely be felt in the area of the slipped disc, though sometimes it can radiate into the nearest arm or leg.
  2. Tingling – If the slipped disc compresses a nerve root, it can interfere with the nerve’s ability to send sensory signals to the associated extremity. This can result in a tingling or pins-and-needles feeling in the hand, foot or head.
  3. Muscle weakness – A slipped disc also can interrupt the motor signals sent between the nerve and the muscles in the associated extremity. This can lead to muscle weakness and even delayed reflexes.
  4. Difficulty standing or sitting – Sometimes a slipped disc can cause pain to worsen when sitting or standing in one position for an extended amount of time due to pressure being placed on the pinched nerve.
  5. Sharp pain with certain movements – When a slipped disc first develops, you may only notice a sharp pain with a specific movement. This is because the disc is only slightly damaged and may press against the nerve when the body bends a certain way.

If you develop these symptoms, schedule an appointment with your doctor to see if you have a slipped disc. There are many treatment options available for this condition, including conservative and surgical. If you are recommended for spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute and request a no-cost MRI review* to see if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures.