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In most cases, the first symptom of lumbar disc herniation is a lower back pain that can last a few days and then improve. The pain is often followed by numbness or weakness of the leg and is described as extending from the back or the gluteal muscle, down to the legs and can reach the feet.
The symptoms may be one or all of the following:
Leg and/or foot pain (sciatica).
Numbness or feeling of pins and needles in the leg and/or foot.
Weakness of the leg and/or foot.
Loss of control of the bladder or bowels (extremely rare). This could indicate a more serious problem called horse-tail syndrome, a condition caused by the compression of spinal nerve roots. It requires immediate medical attention.
Not all patients have pain as a disc degenerates. For the health professional it continues to be an enormous challenge to determine whether the source of pain in a patient is a disc that is wearing out.
Published: 29 October 2019
Updated: 29 October 2019
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