Ruptured Disc Symptoms

What is a Ruptured Disc?

Symptoms of a ruptured disc occur when one or more of the spine’s discs becomes damaged and pushes into the spinal canal. If this material puts pressure on nerve roots or the spinal cord, then symptoms like radiating pain, numbness, weakness, and tingling can develop.

When spinal discs are healthy, they are filled with a gel-like substance that absorbs shock and allows us to move our neck and back freely. As we age, these discs wear out and the inner core can push through a tear in the disc’s tough outer layer. Age-related deterioration of the spine can lead to a condition called degenerative disc disease. Unfortunately, this is one of the most common underlying causes of a this condition.

Ruptured Disc Symptoms

Ruptured disc symptoms vary widely, depending on the position of it and the size of its herniation. Typically, a ruptured disc is preceded by neck or lower back pain. For a cervical (upper) ruptured disc, symptoms can travel to the shoulders, arms, and hands. In the case of a lumbar (lower) ruptured disc, symptoms can radiate to the buttocks, hips, legs, and feet.

Symptoms can include:

  • Muscle spasms
  • Muscle weakness
  • Shoulder, arm, or chest pain
  • Tingling or numbness
  • Sciatica
  • Pain in your lower back, hips, buttocks, legs, and feet
  • Severe deep muscle pain
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control, which indicates a medical emergency requiring immediate medical attention

Treatment with BEST Health System

Consult with your doctor if you’re experiencing any of these symptoms. They can determine the cause of your discomfort or pain and prescribe a treatment plan, which could include over-the-counter medication and physical therapy. Sometimes, conservative treatment may not be enough to reduce your symptoms. In this case, you may be a candidate for surgery.

BEST Health System is a spine and orthopaedic ambulatory center. Our dedicated surgeons specialize in minimally invasive procedures. This allows our patients to enjoy a quicker recovery time and less scarring, all on an outpatient basis. Contact BEST to learn more about minimally invasive ruptured disc surgery.