Do you have back pain and scans say you’ve got a bulging disc? Does the pain stop you from living your daily lifestyle?
“Between 60% to 80% of people will experience low back pain at some point in their lives. Some of which will come from disc problems.”
Back pain is a complicated entity which is becoming confusing from many sufferers. Much of this revolves around modern days scans and the disc bulge. But is it really as big a problem as it’s made out to be?
Yes, lumbar disc bulges can be significant and are not always obvious. But there are some tell tail signs to suggest you may have a Disc bulge.
One of the most common associations for disc bulges is leg pain, often known as sciatic pain. I often hear patients complain of sciatic pain and ask if there is a disc bulge.
Unfortunately, sciatica is one of the most generic symptoms associated with low back pain. Sciatic pain doesn’t necessarily mean that there is or isn’t a bulging disc.
The sciatic nerve is a nerve that come from your spine and runs down your leg. In some circumstances, when discs bulge, they can put pressure on this nerve and irritate it creating leg pain.
What many forget is that there are actually several different areas this nerve can be irritated which have little to do with the disc. Furthermore, there are even other structures in the low back that when irritated can produce a similar presentation that have nothing to do with the nerve!
The other issue that makes disc bugles difficult to differentiate is the thought that there is a link between the severity of the pain and the likelihood of a disc problem. Unfortunately, there are many structures that can also create high levels of pain from sprains and strains that don’t involve disc damage.
Whilst many think the worst, there are actually a heap of different conditions that can create severe low back pain. Surprisingly, some of the solutions can end up being fairly simple!
Back pain and disc damage sounds pretty scary and confusing after that, doesn’t it?
No need to fear, we’re here to help. Whilst it’s always best seeking professional help, here are some simple things you can do yourself to help determine if your back pain is likely associated with a disc or not.
- Shocks down the leg – Sciatic pain can vary and feel different depending on what structure is causing the problem. Sciatic pain from a disc can often feel like an electric shock down your leg.
- Numbness or pins and needles – If you experience tingling sensations or a lack of sensation anywhere in your lower leg, then it could be a sign of nerve impingement coming from a disc bulge.
- Diffuse upper buttock pain – Often if discs are bulging but not hitting a nerve root, they can still give you some hints that they are there. Sometimes you may feel like broad, vague pain in the upper glute region.
- Sitting and straightening your legs creates electric shocks down your legs – Often when nerves are impinged with disc bulges there are some movements that are hard to do. This one is a classic. When the nerve is tensioned, any pressure on it will be highlighted. It’s a simple test that can tell us sooo…. Much! Try it. Sit up straight, have someone lift one leg straight, does it produce an electric shock down your leg or back your glute pain worse?
The great things about disc bulges are that they don’t always need surgical intervention! A lot of them can be helped and managed through conservative treatment.
But, if you can relate to any of the above, please don’t leave it. Early intervention is always important. If you need help, just give us a call on 93187758 or organize a time with one of our trained practitioners now by clicking here 👉Click here 👈
Dr. Robert Delac