Signs and Symptoms of Bulging Disc

Bulging Disc
Bulging Disc

Here are common signs and symptom of bulging disc. See if any of these sound familiar.

IMPORTANT NOTE: One, two or three sign/symptoms does not qualify your diagnosis as bulging disc. The more symptoms and sign that are familiar to you, the more likely that your pain are due to bulging disc.

I strongly advise that you do not self diagnose, leave that up to medical professional to figure it out and confirm. However, what I wanted you to do is to be familiar with your symptoms and give them the most information to be able to make the more accurate diagnosis.

So lets begin.

  • Sitting generally tends to aggravate or reproduce your leg pain but walking makes it feel better? Aitting and working at your desk or sitting and driving, after a prolonged period is when you commonly notice the pain.
  • Lying down makes it feel better than sitting.
  • Do you have a lot of pain first thing in the morning when you wake up?
  • General forward bending motions such as reaching down to pick up something tends to reproduce the pain and with repetition the pain tends to shoot down the right and or left leg.
  • The pain can feel like a burning, sharp and or achy sensation down the leg.

Most also complain of numbness and or tingling. Let’s clarify the different between numbness and tingling because that is important. I generally describe numbness similar to when your “foot falls asleep” or you can’t really feel that you area when you go to touch it versus tingling feels more like “ants crawling on your skin.”

  • Decrease in muscle strength is also another familiar symptom. For example, depending on which nerve root(s) are aggravated, straightening your knee, bending the knee or pointing your toes down may be weaker compared to the other side.

To get an idea of which nerve roots are involved, check out this cheat sheet of dermatomes and myotomes that maps out which nerve roots provided sensation and muscle activation in the legs.

Typically, with nerve involvement whether it is from a bulging disc, herniated disc, sciatica, etc., you’ll start feeling the pain and odd sensations first then progressively start noticing muscle weakness.

My suggestion is this. Please don’t wait. If are feeling these signs and symptoms make it a point to go see a physical therapist or your physician.

The sooner you are able to alleviate your symptoms the better prognosis you have.



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