How To Tell If Back Pain Is Muscle Or Disc?

How To Tell If Back Pain Is Muscle Or Disc
The Difference Between Muscle and Disc Pain – The main difference between these two types of back pain is the location. Your spinal disc is at the bottom of your back, so if you have pain in your lower back, you may assume it is a slipped disc. Furthermore, the feeling of pain will differ between the two.

How do you know if back pain is muscular or spinal?

Neuropathic Pain – Pain caused by a problem with the nerves is often described as shooting or radiating, because the pain “shoots” away from the spinal cord and radiates down the nerve paths. If the pain you feel extends to your arms, forearms, and hands, the source may be your cervical spine.

How can you tell the difference between a herniated disc and a pulled muscle?

Lumbar Sprain Symptoms – Lumbar sprains and strains present similar symptoms. These often include:

Pain and stiffness in the lower back and as low as the buttocks, but not the legs. Limited range of motion due to stiffness and pain. Muscle spasms in the affected area. Pain tends to lessen when bending forward.

Sprains or strains are usually the result of typical movements such as standing up, stretching, sitting down, picking something up, or reaching for something. They also tend to respond well in the short term to ice and anti-inflammatory medicine.

What does a hurt disc in your back feel like?

Symptoms – Most herniated disks occur in the lower back, but they can also occur in the neck. Signs and symptoms depend on where the disk is situated and whether the disk is pressing on a nerve. Herniated disks usually affect one side of the body.

Arm or leg pain. If your herniated disk is in your lower back, besides pain in your lower back, you’ll typically feel pain in your buttocks, thigh and calf. You might have pain in part of the foot as well. For a herniated disk in your neck, you’ll typically feel the most pain in your shoulder and arm. This pain might shoot into your arm or leg when you cough, sneeze or move into certain positions. Pain is often described as sharp or burning. Numbness or tingling. People who have a herniated disk often have radiating numbness or tingling in the body part served by the affected nerves. Weakness. Muscles served by the affected nerves tend to weaken. This can cause you to stumble, or affect your ability to lift or hold items.

You can have a herniated disk without symptoms. You might not know you have it unless it shows up on a spinal image.

How do you rule out a disc injury?

Herniated or disk in the neck (herniated cervical disk) – Symptoms of a herniated disk in your neck include:

Pain near or between your shoulder blades. Pain that travels to your shoulder, arm and sometimes your hand and fingers., especially in the back and on the sides of your neck. Pain that increases when bending or turning your neck. Numbness or tingling in your arms.

Your healthcare provider will do a thorough exam. During the physical, your provider will assess your pain, muscle reflexes, sensation and muscle strength. Your provider may also order tests such as:

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): The most common and accurate imaging test for a suspected herniated disk is an, X-rays: Getting X-rays helps rule out other causes of back or neck pain. Computed tomography (CT): A show the bones of your spine. Herniated disks can move into the space around your spinal cord and nerves and press on them. Myelogram: A involves an injection of dye into your spine using X-ray guidance for a CT scan. The dye can reveal a narrowing of the spinal canal () and location of your herniated disk. Electromyogram (EMG): This test involves placing small needles into various muscles and evaluate the function of your nerves. An helps determine which nerve a herniated disk affects.

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In most cases, pain from a herniated disk can go away in time. To ease pain while your disk heals, you can:

Rest for one to three days, if the pain is severe, but it important to avoid long periods of bed rest to prevent stiffness. Take an over-the-counter, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen. Apply heat or ice to the affected area.

Does a slipped disc feel like a pulled muscle?

Herniated disc symptoms – A herniated disc occurs when one of the spongy discs located between each pair of spine bones gets squeezed out of its normal position and bulges outward, beyond the edge of the bones. The bulging or herniated part of the disc presses on nerves as they exit the spine, resulting in pain and other symptoms.

Your symptoms extend from your neck or lower back into your shoulders, arms, buttocks, or legs. When the nerves exit your spine, they travel to other parts of your body. Since a herniated disc presses on these nerves, you can experience pain and other symptoms anywhere along that nerve pathway — even all the way down to your hands or calves. You’re experiencing numbness, tingling, or shock-like bursts of pain. Since your nerves are responsible for sensation, when a nerve is compressed, it can interfere with your ability to feel, and it can also cause electricity-like jolts of discomfort along the nerve pathway. Your symptoms are focused around your neck and shoulders or your lower back and buttocks. The lower back and neck are the most flexible parts of your spine, and they’re also where most herniated discs occur. While pain in your mid-back may be related to a disc, it’s more likely caused by muscle strain or other issues. Your symptoms feel worse when you bend or straighten up from a bent position. Movement can increase pressure on the herniated disc and the surrounding nerves, causing symptoms to increase. Many people find that sitting or lying in specific positions makes their pain worse as well. You have muscle weakness or muscle fatigue in your arms, hands, or legs. Your nerves also control muscle movements, so if a nerve is compressed, your muscles can also be affected.

Herniated discs can occur in just about anyone, but they’re more common among people who are:

Older Obese or overweight Pregnant Inclined to stand or sit for long periods of time Mostly sedentary

Repetitive movements like bending or lifting, as well as carrying unbalanced loads like a heavy backpack or shoulder bag, can also increase your risk for developing a herniated disc.

How much pain would you be in if you slipped a disc?

What are the symptoms? – Symptoms of a herniated disc vary greatly depending on the location of the herniation and your own response to pain. If you have a herniated lumbar disc, you may feel pain that radiates from your low back area, down one or both legs, and sometimes into your feet (called sciatica).

  1. You may feel a pain like an electric shock that is severe whether you stand, walk, or sit.
  2. Activity such as bending, lifting, twisting, and sitting may increase the pain.
  3. Lying flat on your back with knees bent may be the most comfortable because it relieves the downward pressure on the disc.
  4. Sometimes the pain is accompanied by numbness and tingling in your leg or foot.

You may experience cramping or muscle spasms in your back or leg. In addition to pain, you may have leg muscle weakness, or knee or ankle reflex loss. In severe cases, you may experience foot drop (your foot flops when you walk) or loss of bowel or bladder control.

Is a slipped disc painful to touch?

Slipped Disc Symptoms – The symptoms of a slipped disc vary depending on the site of the disc weakness and whether the prolapse/herniation interferes with any pain sensitive structure. A slipped disc most commonly occurs right at the base of the spine.

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This can give absolutely no pain at all or can give varying degrees of leg and low back pain. Although quite rare, a complete herniation can cause paralysis of the foot and leg and loss of control of the bladder and bowel. The most common symptom of a slipped disc is sciatica if in the low back or radiating pain into the arm, if in the neck.

Low back pain or neck pain may also be present but not in all cases. Sometimes the pain can start in the back or neck then seem to disappear only to be replaced with leg or arm pain. Often the irritated nerve will cause crooking and a postural change; over to the side or forward in the neck or back, along with powerful painful muscle guarding, making it impossible to stand straight.

Usually larger prolapses and extrusions are more likely to give pins & needles, numbness and weakness in the arm or leg. Although very rare, a complete herniation may cause paralysis of the foot and leg and loss of control of the bladder and bowel. However, the symptoms are not as straightforward as it may seem, as there can be huge variability in symptoms.

Interestingly studies have shown that between 52-65% of patients with no pain at all have been shown to have some sort of damage to their discs. So, it is possible that a slipped disc can give absolutely no symptoms at all or can give varying degrees of leg and low back pain ranging from intermittent ‘grumbly’ pain to absolute agony with or without pins & needles, numbness and weakness in the arm or leg.

Where do you feel pain with a bulging disc?

Some common symptoms of a herniated or slipped disc include: Pain that occurs on one side of the body. Sharp pain in one part of the leg, hip, or buttocks and numbness in other parts. You may also feel pain or numbness on the back of the calf or sole of the foot.

Will an xray show a slipped disc?

Imaging Tests for Herniated Discs – Your spine specialist may order imaging tests to help diagnose your condition; you may need to visit an imaging center for these tests. An x-ray can show a narrowed disc space, fracture, bone spur, or arthritis, which may rule out disc herniation.

Did I just slip a disc?

– You can have a slipped disc in any part of your spine, from your neck to your lower back. The lower back is one of the more common areas for slipped discs. Your spinal column is an intricate network of nerves and blood vessels. A slipped disc can place extra pressure on the nerves and muscles around it. Symptoms of a slipped disc include:

pain and numbness, most commonly on one side of the bodypain that extends to your arms or legs pain that worsens at night or with certain movementspain that worsens after standing or sittingpain when walking short distancesunexplained muscle weakness tingling, aching, or burning sensations in the affected area

The types of pain can vary from person to person. See your doctor if your pain results in numbness or tingling that affects your ability to control your muscles.

Is walking good for disc injury?

Walking – Even though it may be tempting to lay low and take it easy when you have a herniated disc, staying active is actually much better for your mobility. Staying in bed can cause stiff joints and weak muscles, which are not ideal for an athlete on the mend.

What does a pulled muscle in back feel like?

Symptoms of a Pulled Back Muscle – If you have pulled a muscle in your back, you will probably feel it as a sudden sharp pain when you lift, bend, or twist. The pain can range from mildly irritating to intense and debilitating depending on how badly the muscle is strained.

  1. If your muscle strain is mild or moderate, the pain usually goes away within a couple of weeks.
  2. Severe strains can take a couple of months or more to heal.
  3. The pain is usually at its worst for the first few hours or days.
  4. After that, less intense pain may continue for another week or two until your muscles heal.
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If the pain is contained in your lower back, buttocks, or hips, it is most likely a pulled muscle. You may also have some bruising, swelling, stiffness, or limited movement in the affected area. It’s important to identify your symptoms because, if they don’t fit the classic description of a pulled muscle, you may have a different more serious problem.

Can massage make herniated disc worse?

‘ There are some types of back pain that can get worse when you get a massage,’ says Walsh. Specifically, he says, sciatica (sudden-onset pain that extends down the back and into the butt or legs) stemming from a herniated disc can be aggravated by deep tissue stimulation.

Can a doctor tell if you have a slipped disc?

What happens at your appointment – Your GP will usually be able to tell if you have a slipped disc from your symptoms. You may also have a physical examination. Your GP might ask you to raise your arms or do simple leg exercises to find out where the slipped disc is.

How can you tell the difference between nerve pain and muscle pain?

Muscle Pain –

Tender, throbbing, stiffness sensation Pain in muscles and joints Often caused by injury or inflammation The pain is generally short-term pain Affects athletes, fitness enthusiasts, or individuals straining their neck on the computer

It’s important to note that one of the biggest differences between nerve pain and muscle pain is chronic pain. Chronic pain is ongoing and constant. The damaged tissue that causes nerve pain often leads to chronic pain, leaving many patients to endure long-lasting side effects.

  • There are various options when it comes to relieving nerve pain or muscle pain there are various options.
  • If you are suffering with muscle pain you may want to consider stretching (it may hurt at first), walking or exercising.
  • Your body will tell you how far to push it.
  • Nerve pain on the other hand isn’t as simple, but there are options.

Walking, stretching and exercises such as swimming or cycling work just as well. Additionally, eating a healthy diet such as can help. You may also find pain relief through INF™ treatment. involves three different holds to alleviate pressure and improve blood flow in the hands and feet.

What does muscle damage in back feel like?

Symptoms of a Pulled Back Muscle – If you have pulled a muscle in your back, you will probably feel it as a sudden sharp pain when you lift, bend, or twist. The pain can range from mildly irritating to intense and debilitating depending on how badly the muscle is strained.

  • If your muscle strain is mild or moderate, the pain usually goes away within a couple of weeks.
  • Severe strains can take a couple of months or more to heal.
  • The pain is usually at its worst for the first few hours or days.
  • After that, less intense pain may continue for another week or two until your muscles heal.

If the pain is contained in your lower back, buttocks, or hips, it is most likely a pulled muscle. You may also have some bruising, swelling, stiffness, or limited movement in the affected area. It’s important to identify your symptoms because, if they don’t fit the classic description of a pulled muscle, you may have a different more serious problem.

How do you know if pain is internal or muscular?

Summary – Somatic pain and visceral pain come from different areas of the body. Somatic pain is in the muscles, bones, or soft tissues. Visceral pain comes from your internal organs and blood vessels. Somatic pain is intense and may be easier to pinpoint than visceral pain.

That’s because your muscles, bones, and skin are supplied with a lot of nerves to detect pain. Pain may be superficial, which means it’s just on the skin, or deep, involving bone and muscles. Your internal organs don’t have as many pain-detecting nerves, so visceral pain tends to be vague or have a squeezing or aching feeling.

Both somatic and visceral pain can be treated with NSAIDs or, in severe cases, opioids. Muscle relaxants may also help with deep somatic pain.