Leg Pain From a Bulging Disc in the Back

Leg pain and was surprised to learn that many people, and they are a quarter of a pain, spinal cord, in particular, can originate in the lower back. Back to the main support structure of the body. This is primarily in the small bone is composed of vertebrae separated by spongy discs. Sometimes one or more disk bulge in some areas outside of the disk causes beyond its regular sphere, the disc becomes weaker than the rest. When the disks are up, they press the nerve roots or spinal cord, and the nerve compression may cause pain in the head below the feet.

Understanding the Anatomy Behind Sciatic Leg Pain

a bulging disc
The spine consists of 33 vertebrae that are divided into five sections called cervical vertebrae, thoracic vertebrae, lumbar vertebrae, sacral vertebrae, and coccygeal vertebrae, from top to bottom. A large nerve called the sciatic nerve rests along five vertebral bodies between the lower lumbar and upper sacral sections. The sciatic nerve provides feeling and movement throughout the buttocks, legs, and feet.

Discs between the vertebrae in the lower back endure a great deal of stress. These lower back discs are essentially a focal point for weight support and motion as we sit, stand, bend, twist, and lift, leaving them susceptible to forming weak areas and bulging. When these discs bulge, they can irritate a nerve close to the sciatic nerve or the sciatic nerve itself, which, in turn, can cause pain to travel along the entire length of the nerve, anywhere from the lower back down to the feet. The symptoms of pain, discomfort, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and spasms experienced in the lower back, buttocks, legs, and feet are collectively referred to as sciatica. Sciatica has a number of different causes, but a bulging disc or herniated disc along the sciatic nerve is a main culprit.

What to Do About a Bulging Disc in the Back

Back problems are always case-sensitive, and no two cases are exactly the same. Oftentimes, pain and other symptoms will go away for good without doing anything. Other times, conservative, nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy, pain medication, anti-inflammatory medication, gentle stretching, low-impact exercise, and hot/cold compresses may help to stop the pain. Spine surgery, almost always an elected procedure, is regarded as a last resort option, and only a small percentage of people with bulging discs need it. See your doctor if you have been experiencing prolonged periods of unexplained back pain, numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, or spasms to find out if a bulging disc is the cause of your back or leg pain. He or she will likely conduct a thorough physical examination, ask you a series of questions about your symptoms, and review your medical history. The doctor may also order some imaging tests to get a better look at the components of the spine itself, so an X-ray, MRI, or CT scan may be in order. Throughout the diagnostic process, the most important thing to keep in mind is that you should be as open and honest with your doctor as possible and report your symptoms in as much detail as you can.

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