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Slipped Disk (cont.)

Slipped Disk Symptoms

The nerves of the body exit the spine at each spinal level in the low back, mid back, and neck. A herniated disk can produce symptoms anywhere along the course of that nerve, though the injury and irritation of the nerve are at the spine itself. (This is known as referred pain, as the pain is "referred" from the source of the problem in the spine to the area supplied by the affected nerve.) A slipped disk can produce varying degrees of pain in the back or neck along with numbness or weakness in the corresponding organs, arms, or legs as follows:

  • For slipped disks in the neck: Neck symptoms and other associated symptoms include numbness, tingling, weakness, or pain in the shoulder, neck, arm, or hand. Symptoms of a herniated disk in the neck often increase or decrease with neck motion.
  • For slipped disks in the lower back, back symptoms include
    • Pain down the back of each leg from the buttocks to the knee or beyond (this is called sciatica, as it affects the sciatic nerve)
    • Numbness, tingling, weakness, or pain in the buttocks, back, legs, or feet or all of these as in sciatica
    • Numbness and tingling around the anus or genitals
    • Pain with movement, straining, coughing, or doing leg raises
    • Difficulty controlling bowel movements or bladder function

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Lumbrosacral Disc Injuries »

Injuries to the intervertebral discs of the lumbosacral spine are invoked as a causative factor in one of the most common health problems in the United States — low back pain (LBP).

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