Is a slipped disc the cause of your back pain, or is it a muscle sprain?
A slipped disc or muscle strain are two different causes of back pain that may feel very similar. Your lower back is a complicated structure, so it may come as no surprise that many people experience pain in this area of their bodies at some point or another. As a matter of fact, back pain is one of the top reasons people visit their doctor’s office.
Determining the cause of your back pain will be vital to relieving it. However, discovering the source of your pain isn’t always straightforward. It can be joint, muscle, or disc-related. For some patients, the pain may come from issues that are not related to their back. So how will you be able to tell if your back pain is disc or muscle-related?
What is a slipped disc?
Between each vertebra in your spine is a disc; when one of these discs comes out from between the vertebrae, it is called a slipped disc. Because of where these discs are located, having a disc slip out of place may impact some of your nerves. The pain that comes from this injury is typically not due to the disc being out of place but because the nerves have become compressed by the disc. Physical activity and trauma can cause your lumbar discs to slip by causing excessive pressure on your discs. Slipped disc symptoms include:
- Muscle weakness
- Numbness in the limbs
- Constant pain
- Pain radiating to the limbs
- Pain due to spinal movement
There are some alternative ways to treat a slipped disc, but typically surgery is often needed to heal this injury.
How to tell if it is a muscle strain
Muscle pain is the most common form of back pain. Aggravating your back muscles can usually happen due to doing somewhat strenuous activities that you don’t normally do, such as yard work, exercising, or another project that involves moving up and won repeatedly. You may have woken the next day to find that you couldn’t straighten your body anymore. Possibly, the pain never really went away, and you were able to manage it better, then the tightness came back again later. Symptoms of muscle pain include:
- Tight muscles
- Muscle spasms, stiffening or contraction of your back muscles
- Generally sore back
This type of tightness, stiffness, or cramping is almost always due to your back muscles.
If you have muscle pain and it is becoming a nuisance, some exercises to strengthen the muscles can help. Yoga, physical therapy, or a home exercise program can be beneficial for core and muscle strengthening and your posture, which will all help keep future muscle strains at bay.
Slipped disc in Charlotte, NC: get relief for your pain
A slipped disc or muscle strain can cause your pain, then the only real way to determine which is the main culprit is to have an evaluation performed on your back. A chiropractor will use various diagnostics to determine the cause of your back pain so you can feel confident that you will get the most appropriate care for your relief.
ChiroCarolina®, one of Charlotte’s premier chiropractic clinics, is known throughout the Southeast for providing the best chiropractic care in the Uptown Charlotte, NoDa, and UNCC college areas, conveniently located on North Tryon Street. Trust ChiroCarolina® in Charlotte: visited by patients throughout the south: North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Virginia, and Texas.