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What type of pain does a herniated disc cause?

Dr. Gerald M. Silverman
Chiropractic Medicine Specialist

Herniated disc pain can often be identified by its patterns and characteristics.

The primary history for the onset of herniated disc-induced pain is:

  • arm or leg pain that began gradually and has gotten steadily, progressively, and relentlessly worse
  • arm or leg pain that began after a severe, sudden, forceful traumatic event

The primary characteristics of herniated disc-induced pain are:

  • arm or leg pain that is constant or relieved only by rest
  • arm, leg, or back pain that becomes severe as soon as you stand upright
  • arm or leg pain that produces a constant burning or numbing sensation

The primary location of herniated disc-induced pain is:

  • from your spine through your entire arm or leg, with or without neck and back pain

If you've had an magnetic resonance imaging (MR)I and been told your problem is a herniated or bulging disc, but there hasn't been unrelenting radiating pain, numbness, or weakness, it is very possible the disc isn't the cause of your problem. And, even when a disc herniation or bulge is present, unless you have constant significant pain and weakness in your arms or legs, the prognosis for recovery with conservative treatment is excellent.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.