It is most common to experience a herniated or ruptured disc in the lumbar spine, or lower back area; however, a slipped disc can also occur in the cervical spine, located in and around the neck. The symptoms of a herniated disc include:
Neck, back, arm, and/or leg pain: Herniated discs in the lower back often cause pain or discomfort in the lower back and back of the legs, including the thigh and calf area. A slipped disc in your neck will most often result in pain associated in the neck, shoulders, and arms.
Numbness or tingling: Because the herniated disc protrudes and presses on the nerves located in the spinal column, it is common to experience sensations of numbness and/or tingling in extremities serviced by the impacted nerves.
Weakness; since a ruptured disc often presses on nerves in the spinal area, muscle weakness in areas) affected by the rupture is also a common symptom of this condition
Like most issues related to the back and neck, your doctor will conduct an initial physical examination to assess for location and severity of pain or discomfort. During this exam, the doctor will most likely have you move in various ways to better determine the exact cause of the issue. In addition, your health care provider will also conduct a series of assessments designed to assess the nerves; this includes testing reflexes, sensation, and muscle strength.
Most often, a slipped disc can be diagnosed through the physical and neurological exams described above. However, in more severe or chronic cases of back or neck pain, your doctor may order a series of imaging tests, including x-rays, a CT scan, a MRI exam, and/or myelograms.
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