FAQ: How can you tell if you have a herniated disc?

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How do you diagnose a herniated disc?

In most cases of herniated disk, a physical exam and a medical history are all that’s needed for a diagnosis.

Imaging tests

  1. X-rays. Plain X-rays don’t detect herniated disks, but they can rule out other causes of back pain, such as an infection, tumor, spinal alignment issues or a broken bone.
  2. CT scan.
  3. MRI.
  4. Myelogram.

What are the warning signs of a herniated disk?

Herniated disc symptoms

  • Pain and numbness on one side of your body.
  • Pain that shoots down your leg (usually just one)
  • Pain while walking.
  • Pain that worsens after sitting.
  • Pain that worsens after sleeping.
  • Tingling in your hips and legs.
  • Weakness in your legs.

Can a herniated disc heal on its own?

Usually a herniated disc heals on its own. So most of the time nonsurgical treatment is tried first, including: Heat or ice, exercise, and other steps at home to help with pain and make your back stronger. For more information, see Home Treatment.

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What does a herniated disc in your back feel like?

If you have a herniated lumbar disc, you may feel pain that radiates from your low back area, down one or both legs, and sometimes into your feet (called sciatica). You may feel a pain like an electric shock that is severe whether you stand, walk, or sit.

What is the fastest way to heal a herniated disc?

1. Heat and cold therapy can help relieve muscle tension and pain.

  1. Apply heat to your back in the morning or prior to stretching/exercise to decrease muscle tension.
  2. Try placing a heating pad or hot compress against your lower back periodically throughout the day.

Can you feel a herniated disc with your fingers?

Your hands are numb

Pain isn’t the only symptom of a herniated disc. When the nerves in your spinal column are affected, they send messages to the brain that can result in numbness. Hand numbness is a sign that your cervical spine (located in your neck) is the source of the disc rupture.

Can a chiropractor fix a herniated disc?

To treat a herniated disc, your chiropractor will develop a treatment plan that may include spinal manipulation—also known as adjustments—and other chiropractic techniques to help ease your herniated disc symptoms.

Can I make a herniated disc worse?

Can you make a herniated disc worse? The pain from a herniated disc usually is worse when you are active and gets better when you are resting. Coughing, sneezing, sitting, driving, and bending forward may make the pain worse.

Is walking good for a herniated disc?

Moderate aerobic activities, including walking, biking, and swimming, also help relieve pain. Some aerobic activities might be better suited to your specific condition. Talk to your doctor about what exercises will best help you.

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Can you push a herniated disc back into place?

The most common indicator of a herniated disc is when pain radiates down into the leg or arm. Special extension exercises can help relieve pain from a herniated disc. Exercise can work like a vacuum to suck the center of the disc back into place, helping release pressure on the nerve.

How can you fix a herniated disc?

Nonsurgical treatment may include:

  1. Rest. One to 2 days of bed rest will usually help relieve back and leg pain.
  2. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs). Medications such as ibuprofen or naproxen can help relieve pain.
  3. Physical therapy.
  4. Epidural steroid injection.

What activities should you avoid with a herniated disc?

Everyday Activities to Avoid with Herniated Disc

  • Sitting too much. Sitting puts more stress on your spinal discs, especially when slouching forward in a seat.
  • Doing laundry.
  • Vacuuming.
  • Feeding a pet.
  • Strenuous exercise.
  • Shoveling snow or gardening.
  • Learn more:

Does a herniated disc hurt when you push on it?

This herniation of the disc can result in a large bulge that can press on nearby nerve roots, causing pain. However, herniated discs don’t always hurt. In fact, it’s entirely possible to have a herniated disc and not know it. Herniated discs only cause pain when the herniated area pushes on a nerve root in the spine.

How do you know if back pain is muscle or disc?

The lower back and neck are the most flexible parts of your spine, and they’re also where most herniated discs occur. While pain in your mid-back may be related to a disc, it’s more likely caused by muscle strain or other issues. Your symptoms feel worse when you bend or straighten up from a bent position.

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How do you sleep with a herniated disc?

If you have a herniated disc, you may want to try sleeping on your side curled in a fetal position:

  1. Lay on your back and then roll over gently onto your side.
  2. Tuck your knees toward your chest and gently curl your torso toward your knees.
  3. Remember to switch sides from time to time to prevent any imbalances.

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