Signs You Might Have a Herniated Disc

Signs You Might Have a Herniated Disc

Your spine carries out many vital functions, from helping you stay upright and active to connecting the different parts of your body. When the structures of your spine get injured or damaged, you can develop a herniated disc.

Soft, round discs cushion the bones in your spine, helping absorb shock. If an injury or wear-and-tear damage pushes one of these discs out of its place, your provider may tell you you have a herniated disc. 

A displaced disc puts extra pressure on your nerves since there's limited room in the area near your spine. This can trigger pain and other challenging symptoms. 

Board-certified provider Daniel Kline, MD, and the Integrated Spine and Pain Services team, with two locations in Northern Virginia, offer the latest treatments to help heal your herniated disc and ease discomfort. 

Because treatments are generally most effective with an early diagnosis, take a moment to learn some warning signs that you might have a herniated disc. If you recognize any, schedule an appointment sooner rather than later since the best long-term outcomes come with early intervention. 

Common signs of a herniated disc

The symptoms you experience with a herniated disc are closely related to the degree or severity of herniation and the location where the herniation takes place. For instance, some people don't have any apparent symptoms because their condition is minor or not causing pressure in any noticeable way. 

It's far more common, however, for people with a herniated disc to experience one, some, or all of these frequently experienced symptoms:

Be sure to schedule an appointment as soon as possible with Dr. Kline if you're experiencing any signs of a herniated disc. The sooner you seek treatment, especially if your symptoms are severe or ongoing, the better your prognosis typically is.

Less common signs of disc herniation 

While back, buttocks/hip, or leg pain is common, you can have symptoms in other locations because your symptoms depend on where in the spinal column the herniated disc occurs. Nerve impingement can affect many body areas, making some signs of a herniated disc less obvious. 

Since sensations can travel the pathways of your nerves, which move all over your body, you might have symptoms anywhere in your body. Here's a look at some less common signs of disc herniation: 

Pain when you laugh or cough without another known trigger could also indicate a herniated disc. Call your provider if you're experiencing less common signs of disc herniation without another obvious cause. 

Diagnosing and treating herniated discs

The good news is that many effective treatments for disc herniation exist. Dr. Kline discusses your current and past symptoms with you, reviews your medical history, and completes a physical exam which may include:

To uncover the underlying cause of your symptoms and confirm your diagnosis, he may also recommend additional testing, such as a CT scan, X-ray, MRI, nerve test, or others, depending on your unique symptoms and health.

With a diagnosis, Dr. Kline creates a personalized herniated disc treatment plan. Our customized treatments are designed to meet your unique needs and may include one or more of the following therapies, beginning with the most conservative approaches first:

If you're concerned about a herniated disc, make sure to schedule an appointment with Dr. Kline at Integrated Spine and Pain Services. Call the nearest office in Falls Church or Alexandria, Virginia, to get started today. 

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