You may never realize how crucial your back health is until you’re in pain. Your back muscles are engaged in virtually every daily movement you perform — sitting down, walking, bending, and more! As a result, back pain can be frustrating at best and completely debilitating at worst.

The first step to finding pain relief is identifying the source of your back problems. Here’s everything you need to know about one common culprit: the herniated disc.

What is a Herniated Disc?

Your spine is composed of many small bones. In order to promote their smooth function, each vertebrae is separated by a disc. These discs can be viewed like soft resting places and barriers for your bones… but if they get out of place, the pain is anything but warm and fuzzy.

Spinal discs can naturally shift or degenerate over time, or they can be bumped out of alignment following an injury. This movement is typically followed by pain in the neck or lower back, but could also spread throughout your body if the disc is now pinching a nerve.

How do I know if I have a herniated disc?

The most acute symptoms of a herniated disc are often related to your impacted nerves, not your back. This interference with your typical bodily senses can manifest in strange sensations, such as:

  • Shooting pains in your arms or legs. Affected discs in the lower pain will usually send pains throughout your thighs, calves, and feet. If your misplaced disc is closer to your neck, you can expect more pain in your upper body, like shoulders and arms.
  • Muscle weakness. Your nerves help to fortify your muscles. Thus, any irregularities in your spine will often impact your strength.
  • Experiences of a generalized tingling sensation. As your nerves fight to maintain their normal routine, you may feel waves of tingling or numbness.
  • An increase in pain intensity while moving. Even small movements will put increased pressure on your impacted nerves. If your pain subsides slightly when you’re idle, it may be a result of a herniated disc.

How can my back pain be resolved?

Regardless of whether your pain can be attributed to a herniated disc, you’re not looking for a diagnosis — you’re looking for relief. Fortunately, herniated discs are a fairly common problem, and there are many solutions you can pursue.

If your quality of life isn’t too affected by your pain, you can manage it with simple, over-the-counter medications. As the intensity increases, you can explore options such as cortisol injections, muscle relaxers, or even surgery.

The most important step is connecting with a quality care team that can help you get your pain-free life back.

Southeast Pain & Spine Care

For over twenty years, Southeast Pain & Spine Care has been leveraging our network of 15 clinics to meet the pain-relief needs of our patients. If you’ve been suffering from back or disc pain, contact us today to take the first step towards recovery.