If the herniated disc isn't pressing on a nerve, you may have an ache in the low back or no symptoms at all.
Only a few people who have herniated discs have severe or troublesome symptoms.
When the disc does press on a nerve, symptoms may include:
- Pain that travels through the buttock and down a leg to the ankle or foot because of pressure on the sciatic nerve. Low back pain may accompany the leg pain.
- Tingling ("pins-and-needles" sensation) or numbness in one leg that can begin in the buttock or behind the knee and extend to the thigh, ankle or foot.
- Weakness in certain muscles in one or both legs.
- Pain in the front of the thigh.
- Severe deep muscle pain and muscle spasms.
Cauda equina syndrome
Weakness in both legs and the loss of bladder and/or bowel control are symptoms of a specific and severe type of nerve root compression called cauda equina syndrome. This is a rare but serious problem. A person with these symptoms should see a doctor right away.
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