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5 Totally Unexpected Symptoms of a Slipped Disc

5 Totally Unexpected Symptoms of a Slipped Disc

A slipped disc is when the soft cushion sitting between the backbones slips out from the stack and pushes on surrounding nerves, muscles, and joints.  A disc herniation [r1] can affect the entire body, leading to some unusual symptoms you wouldn’t immediately associate with the slipped disc. As Gonstead chiropractors, we treat this condition regularly, which means we’ve seen many typical and not-so-typical symptoms surface because of a bulging disc in the back. Here’s what you should know about them.

Slipped Disc Symptoms – The Usual vs. The Unexpected

Some symptoms are immediate and obvious, including:

·         Pain, redness, or inflammation around the injury site or following the injured nerve root

·         Arm, leg, and hip pain

·         Numbness and tingling

·         Weakness in the neck, back, legs, or arms

Other symptoms aren’t so obvious.  The body doesn’t work in a vacuum.  When something goes wrong in the spine, it can affect all areas of the body. Here are five totally unexpected symptoms of a slipped disc and why they occur.

Urinary Difficulty and Constipation

If disc prolapse happens in the lower back, it could compress and injure some of the nerves bundles at the bottom of your spine.  When this happens, it’s called cauda equina syndrome and can lead to problems with constipation and urination — such as difficulty initiating a stream or incontinence.

Mood Swings

Chronic back pain is proven to cause new or worsened mental health conditions.  On that same token, mental health disorders can worsen chronic pain.  They feed off each other, causing a massive imbalance in essential mood and pain-relieving hormones and chemicals like serotonin, cortisol, dopamine, and endorphins. Symptoms like depression and anxiety could be the result of:

·         Disrupted sleep

·         Constant pain or discomfort

·         Limited movement and, consequently, restricted flow of essential healing fluids and communications

·         Poor job performance because of the injury

·         Low quality of life

Saddle Anesthesia

This symptom is exactly what it sounds like — a loss of sensation in the areas that touch a saddle: the inner thighs, back of the thighs, rectum, and vagina or scrotal regions. 

Foot and Leg Pain

A bulging disc in the lower back can put pressure on the main nerve going down the leg. This is usually called sciatica, which some people experience without any back pain.

Pain While Laughing, Sneezing, or Coughing

When we sneeze, laugh, or cough, we put pressure on the abdomen. You can feel the muscles tighten, and you’ve probably felt the soreness that comes from a good long, hard laugh or a terrible bout of allergies or coughing.  The muscles in the back feel that pressure, which can cause pain in the herniated disc area. 

Safe, Natural & Effective Slipped Disc Treatment

The good news is that we can treat most slipped disc problems at our clinic in Norwalk, Slovin Chiropractic Center.  Using targeted techniques, Dr. Slovin examines the body as a whole and doesn’t focus on just one symptom.  A Gonstead adjustment isn’t the same as spinal manipulation.  Manipulating the spine is like shaking up a puzzle box and hoping all the pieces fall in place.  With a Gonstead approach, you can expect a tailored, personalized treatment that targets the unique issues you’re experiencing. 

Learn more about how a Gonstead chiropractor treats slipped discs. 

No matter how long you’ve had a herniated disc, our chiropractors are well-equipped to help you find the right solution.  Dr. Slovin has successfully treated hundreds of back pain conditions over the last two decades without using dependency-causing medications or invasive surgeries.  Experience the relief for yourself and request an appointment at Slovin Chiropractic Center today. 


UCLA Health:  Disc Herniation

Oasis Med:  Chronic Back Pain and Mental Health

Mayo Clinic: Herniated Disc Symptoms and Causes

Core Orthopedics and Spine Medicine: Unexpected Symptoms of Herniated Disc[r2]