Patient discussion about herniated disk

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Q. I have a low back pain that radiates to my leg when i pick up stuff. Is it a disc herniation?

I am a 43 years old bank teller. During the past 5 months I've suffered from a low back pain. The pain is not very strong, but it gets much worse while doing physical activity. When i walk or lift heavy things the pain is even stronger, and it radiates to my left leg. Can it be signs for disc herniation?
A1It's possible that you have a nerve impingement from a disc herniation, but not necessarily so. What you need to know is that even if you have a herniated disc, the question is what would the recommended treatment be?
90% or more of herniated discs resolve without surgical treatment within 6 months. MRI imaging is generally only indicated if one is considering surgery; in other words, your pain and neurological status is such that surgery is clinically indicated. Then, an MRI may be helpful for the surgeon. If surgery is not indicated based on clinical/symptoms, then it probably is unwise to get an MRI. They often show abnormalities that are simply 'red herrings' and often prompt people to proceed with surgery that really is not needed. Beware!

A2Hi Voodoo. I have experienced some back pain that goes down the leg as well. I was told it was Sciatica. It happens on either one side of the spine or the other, not both at once. If I bend over just a certain way, I pull or pinch the sciatic nerve. The last time I did it, I was bending down to put the dog's coat on. Boy, I was a week getting over that one. I sat with the heating pad on it and linament rubbed in at night. If I tried to bend at all, it was major pain. I don't get it very often but when I do it's quite crippling. I just have to pay attention to my bending and use the knees. Sorry, I don't know anything about herniated discs. You need to see a doctor and get proper diagnosis. Good Luck.
A3Hi there. I have degenerative disc disease, and I also had numbness in my right leg. My primary physician told me to see a neurologist. I saw the neurologist and he did an MRI of my spine. In my 4th and 5th lumbar (lower back) he found a pinched nerve. He said surgery would take care of it. Well I got the surgery, which was a success. I also had disc fragments that needed to be removed. So my disc was herniated also, and a small arthritic cyst. My legs are just great now. No more numbness. Hope this helps hon. Mellou
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