You may experience discomfort in your lower back and/or leg if a disc in your lower spine bulges or tears. Here are three distinct indicators of a herniated or bulging disc to assist you in determining the underlying cause of your lower back pain:

1. Sitting discomfort

Sitting is an activity that puts a lot of strain on your lower spinal discs. If you have a herniated or bulging disc, the increased pressure within your disc may cause the bulge to grow more obvious, causing your lower back discomfort to worsen as you sit.

2. Pain radiating down your leg (sciatica)

Lower back discs generally herniate or bulge in the posterior (back) and/or lateral (side) region, which is close to your spinal nerve roots. Herniated discs can damage these nerve roots in one or both of the following ways:

    Compression that is done directly. When a bulging or leaking disc’s interior contents immediately press on a spinal nerve root as it exits the spinal canal.

    Irritation caused by chemicals. When a herniated disc spills acidic chemical irritants from the disc material, the region around the nerve root may become inflamed and irritated.

The damaged nerve root’s function is then disrupted, and you may experience burning pain, numbness, weakness, and/or tingling along the front and/or rear of your thigh, leg, and/or foot. Sciatica is the medical term for these symptoms. Sciatica symptoms and indicators normally affect one leg at a time.

3. Pain exacerbated by some activities

Certain activities, such as: may aggravate your lower back discomfort and/or sciatica.

    Forward/down bending

    Lifting a large object

    attempting to push or move a hefty thing

    Sneezing and coughing

Lumbar herniated disc discomfort usually appears suddenly. In most cases, there is no single, obvious cause of the pain, such as an injury or traumatic experience. Nonetheless, the agony feels abrupt. 

This illness can be excruciatingly painful, but for the most part, the symptoms are brief. Even if they did not undergo medical treatment, about 90% of persons who experience acute lumbar disc herniation report that they no longer feel the pain within 6 weeks. 

When to seek medical attention and when not to

Consult your doctor if you display any of these three symptoms of a herniated disc. To assist reduce inflammation and improve pain, your doctor may recommend a combination of nonsurgical treatments, such as pain relievers and a guided physical therapy programme, as well as referral to an interventional pain specialist for image-guided lumbar injections.

Consult your doctor right away if you have trouble controlling your bowel and/or bladder movements, numbness in your inner thigh and genital area, or difficulties commencing urine. These symptoms and signs could point to cauda equina syndrome, a significant medical emergency that can occur with severe lower back disc herniations.


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