As a spinal disc begins to degenerate, its inner core may extrude. This is referred to as a herniation. In most cases the disc will herniate toward the back of the spinal canal. In turn, pressure is put on the nerves that control the movement of the lower extremities. This leads to a radiating pain that travels along the path of the nerve.
Common complaints of bulging disc among Northern NJ residents is pain in their buttocks, throughout their legs, and even in their feet. To understand how disc herniation occurs it is good to have a basic understanding of the anatomy of a spinal disc.
Spinal Disc Anatomy
Spinal discs are composed of a durable external ring and a soft flexible internal core. Discs sit in between the blocks of bone that make up the spine known as the vertebra. If the outer core of the disc becomes damaged, the inner core will protrude out, usually toward the rear of the spine. This is because toward the rear of the spine the external core of the disc is a little bit thinner. This weak spot is located directly below the nerve root.
As a result, herniated disc sufferers experience shooting pain that is referred to as sciatica. In addition to the pain, they may also experience numbness, weakness, tingling, and muscle atrophy. In some extreme cases, they will experience muscle loss and loss of bowel control. The symptoms will vary depending on where the nerves are being pinched.
Things That Can Exacerbate Herniated Disc Pain
When a person sits in an awkward position, sneezes, or coughs, it is likely that their pain will intensify. An L4 – L5 herniation, that is a herniation of the disc that sits in between the fourth and fifth vertebrae, can result in pain and numbness in the big toe. It is not uncommon for the same herniation to create pain on the top of the foot and radiating pain in the buttocks.
If the herniation happens between the L5 vertebrae and the S1, which is the first sacral segment, it usually leads to pain that is concentrated around the ankles and on the sole or the outside of the foot.
Thankfully, with proper care and treatment provided by disc pain relief Paramus, NJ medical professionals such as MedWell Spine, OsteoArthritis & Neuropathy Center, most disc herniations and the symptoms they cause can be treated.
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Toe and foot numbness from L5/S1 herniated disk. MedHelp.