Lower back pain is often the main symptom of a slipped disc.
The pain is caused by a disc pressing on a nerve, and is often worse when pressure is placed on the nerve. This can happen when you cough, sneeze or sit down.
The pain will usually settle down in one to three months, but in some cases it can last much longer and become chronic. There's also a risk of recurrence.
The symptoms can alsovary depending on whether the slipped disc is in your neck or lower back.
A slipped disc in the neck can cause:
A slipped disc in the lower back can cause:
The sciatic nerve is the longest nerve in the body and is made up of several smaller nerves. It runs from the back of the pelvis, through the buttocks, and down the legs to the feet.
If a slipped disc is putting pressure on the sciatic nerve, it can cause pain in the leg, hip or buttocks.This is called sciatica.
If the slipped disc presses on any of the other nerves that run down your spinal cord, your symptoms may include:
Muscle weakness or numbness and tingling may occur in your arm orleg depending on where the slipped disc is.
Cauda equina syndrome is a serious condition where the nerves at the very bottom of the spinal cord become compressed.
Seekimmediate medicalassistance if you develop these symptoms. Visit your GP or your nearest accident and emergency (A&E) department.
If cauda equina syndrome isn't treated quickly, the nerves to your bladder and bowel can be permanently damaged.
A slipped disc means that one of the discs of cartilagein the spine is damaged and pressing on the nerves. It's also known as a prolapsed or herniated disc.
Lower back pain is often the main symptom of a slipped disc. The pain is caused by a disc pressing on a nerve, and is often worse when pressure is placed on the nerve. This can happen when you cough, sneeze or sit down.
Find out how a slipped disc is diagnosed. Your GP should be able to make a diagnosis from your symptoms and medical history. You'll also have a number of physical examinations.
Find out how a slipped disc is treated. Exercise, physiotherapy and painkilling medication are usually recommended. Surgery is needed in about 1 in 10 cases.
To avoid back pain and help prevent a slipped disc, you should keep mobile, exercise regularly, maintain good posture and lift heavy objects correctly.