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How Can You Know if You Have a Herniated Disc?

Updated on February 19, 2017

As you already know, the spinal column is entirely made out of a series of bones. These bones are stacked on top of each other. The column consists of 12 bones in thoracic spine, 7 in cervical spine and 5 in lumbar spine. In addition, you can see the coccyx and sacrum in the base. All these bones are cushioned with disks. The disks play a vital role behind your health by absorbing the shock caused to your spine from day to day activities such as walking, twisting and lifting.

What is a herniated disk?

Each disk in your body is made out of two components. They include a tough outer ring and a gelatinous inner portion. Weaknesses and injuries can cause the inner portion of your disk to come out of the ring. This health condition is known as prolapsed, herniated or slipped disk. When there is a herniated disk, you will have to experience discomfort and pain. In case if the herniated disk compress against your spinal nerves, you will have to experience numbness. Such cases should be provided with immediate treatments and you will have to undergo a surgery in order to repair or remove the herniated disk.

How can you know if you have a herniated disk?

If you have a clear understanding about the symptoms that are associated with having a herniated disk, you will be able to determine whether you have it or not.

The most common symptoms that are associated with a herniated disk include:

  • Numbness and pain, especially on one side of the body.
  • Pain that would worsen during night time and are associated with specific movements.
  • Pain that would extend to your legs and arms.
  • Pain that you will have to experience when walking short distances.
  • Pain that would worsen when you are sitting or standing.
  • Muscle weakness that cannot be explained based on other health conditions.
  • Burning, aching, tingling sensations in the affected area.

If you notice one or more of these symptoms, there is a high change that you would be affected with a herniated disk. In such a situation, you should seek medical assistance as quickly as possible.

Diagnosis of a herniated disk

A herniated disk can easily be diagnosed with the assistance of nerve tests, imaging tests and physical exams. When it comes to a physical exam, your back would be examined to see whether there are any places of soreness. Or else, MRI scanning can effectively be used in order to get a better picture of internal body structures. The MRI scan will have to pinpoint to the exact location of the herniated disk in order to figure out the health condition. CT scans and X-rays are also in a position to determine this health condition. Out of the available diagnosis methods, nerve tests have received much attention in the recent past. When it comes to nerve tests, small electrical pulses are conducted through the nerves in order to locate herniated disks.


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