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Doctor insights on: Can Herniated Disc Cause Paralysis

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Does the pressure of a herniated disk on the nerve cause paralysis?

Does the pressure of a herniated disk on the nerve cause paralysis?

It can: Some disks can be silent (no symptoms). If a disk is large and compresses the spinal cord (neck or mid back) it can cause paralysis. Very large disks in the low back can compress numerous nerves (not the spinal cord) and also cause weakness in both legs. The size of the disk herniation, the size of the canal (space for the cord and nerves), inflammation, acuity of the rupture influence its effect.

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Palsy (Definition)

...is a corruption of French "paralise" from Latinized Greek "paralysis." In the old days it meant any kind of persistent weakness. To this day Parkinson's disease is also called "paralysis agitans" which is a Latin translation of Dr. Parkinson's original name for it, the "shaking palsy." We've obviously reborrowed the full form "paralysis" into English as well; today ...Read more


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Have herniated disc in my thorasic area and lumbar too. Lately have a leg muscle weakness. Walking but feel fatigued. Can this weakness sign of paralysis?

Have herniated disc in my thorasic area and lumbar too. Lately have a leg muscle weakness. Walking but feel fatigued. Can this weakness sign of paralysis?

There can be many: Potential reasons for your symptoms including neural or nerve tissue compression or pinching by a disc herniation that can present without any pain especially with a disc herniation in the thoracic area. One also had to realize that finding disc herniations in adults without any symptoms is not that uncommon. You should see your physician for an evaluation to assess your complaints.

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Can a herniated disc cause diarrhea?

Can a herniated disc cause diarrhea?

Not likely: Herniated disc can cause spinal stenosis which can cause loss of bowel control resulting in fecal incontinence but not neccesarily diarrhea.

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Can a herniated disc cause neuropathy?

Can a herniated disc cause neuropathy?

Agreed: It may be semantics, but when a disc herniation occurs, it presses on a nerve root and not a nerve. We call this radiculopathy. Neuropathy occurs further from the spine and often implies a non-compressive origin (although it can be compressive).

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Can a herniated disc cause pelvic rotation?

Can a herniated disc cause pelvic rotation?

Similar, yes: A ruptured disc which is focalized to right or left will result in focal muscle spasm over the paraspinals. This localized muscle tightness creates asymmetrical net back flexion and extension where the back and pelvic relationships are literally torqued inappropriately, and can create a feeling of rotation, but usually the pain is the focus.

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How would a herniated disc cause pain on the bottom of the feet?

How would a herniated disc cause pain on the bottom of the feet?

Radiculopathy: Irritation to certain nerves (commonly the s1 nerve roots) from a herniated disc can manifest as pain radiating to the sole of the foot.

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What are the causes of sciatica? Is it always a herniated disc problem?

What are the causes of sciatica? Is it always a herniated disc problem?

No: Sciatica is really a misnomer. Most causes of leg pain are more appropriately called radiculopathy, because the compression occurs in the spinal canal and the sciatic nerve doesn't form until much lower in the body. Other causes "sciatic" pain include, spinal stenosis, tumors, pyriformis syndrome, pelvic pathology, neuropathy, and cervical spine pathology.

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How do I relieve the pain of severe sciatica caused by a herniated disc?

How do I relieve the pain of severe sciatica caused by a herniated disc?

Spine Pain Options: This chronic pain in the distribution as you suggested is the result of an irritated nerve or facet joints or other injury typically in the lumbar spine (low back) which are caused by herniated disks, spinal stenosis or degenerative disc disease, etc requiring further evaluation by a spine specialist and may be candidate for facet injections/radiofrequency ablation and epidural steroid injection.

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Is a torn disc the same as a herniated disc? What effects could an l4-l5 torn disc cause?

Is a torn disc the same as a herniated disc? What effects could an l4-l5 torn disc cause?

The term torn as you: Are using it would imply a tear of the outer coating of a disc known as an annular tear. This is different from a disc herniation which occurs when a piece of a core of the disc called the nucleus polposusmoves through the annular tear. Boh can cause painor can be painless, incidental findings on a mri. These tears canbe the result of norms. Disc aging or can be traumatic in nature. Most heal.

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What causes a herniated disc bad?

What causes a herniated disc bad?

Pressure and: Movements of the spine. Generally speaking the more you twisting and bend at the waist while holding a heavy object the more likely you will result in a bulging or herniated disc due to the pressure inflicted on the area of the spine.

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Can vigorous sex cause herniated disc?

Can vigorous sex cause herniated disc?

Sex: Not really. But position may have an impact.

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What causes bulging or herniated disc?

What causes bulging or herniated disc?

Aging, injury: Disc bulges are normal variants & not an issue that should cause a problem. This occurs with disc loading as well. A disc herniation is an actual disruption of the disc's coating layers allowing disc material to move out of a normal position. This is a more frequent finding as we age as the disc degenerates which is accelerated by obesity & smoking. Overloading a disc's weight capacity=herniation.

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Can a therapeutic massage cause harm to a herniated disc?

Can a therapeutic massage cause harm to a herniated disc?

Very unlikely: The amount of force applied to the spine during massage is relatively minimal unless some kind of manipulation is done at the same time. For this reason, it is very unlikely that a massage could cause further harm with a disc herniation.

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Can a herniated disc cause spinal stenosis?

Can a herniated disc cause spinal stenosis?

Yes: Technically, spinal stenosis is defined as a narrowing of the nerve canal and a disc herniation can definitely cause narrowing of the canal.

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Can having a herniated disc cause problems during pregnancy?

Can having a herniated disc cause problems during pregnancy?

Yes: As you gain weight from the pregnancy, your weight distribution changes. This change often puts an extra load on the spinal processes. Using good posture and exercise approved by your Gyn can help minimize these problems.

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Can a herniated disc in your lower spine cause middle thoracic back?

No: There should not be any pain your thoracic spine from a lumbar herniated disc. If you have degenerative changes at lumbar levels, you may have them at your thoracic as well. One caveat, and a very rare one, is if you had enough of a herniation in upper lumbar areas to damage the cord and cause a syrinx. However, this would have been seen on MRI and you'd have more symptoms. Incontinence? Yes=er.

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Can pelvic rotation cause asymptomatic herniated disc to become symptomatic by pinching nerves?

Herniated Disc: Yes, pelvic rotation can cause an asymmetric load on the iliolumbar ligament and effect the pressure on the disc.

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How do you differentiate back pain due to muscular causes from back pain due to herniated disc?

Physical exam: Backache due to muscular spasm usually is localised to the affected area with spasm clinically evident herniated disc usually causes pain radiating along the pinched nerve affected usually down one leg EMG of the lower extremities and MRI of the lumbar spine may be necessary in some cases to settle the diagnosis.

Dr. Thomas Dowling
842 Doctors shared insights

Bulging Disk (Definition)

Wear and tear can cause degeneration in the vertebral column, and cause discs to deteriorate. The supportive basket, nucleus fibrosis develops small tears. A bulge is minimal perhaps a few millimeters, and is clinically insignificant, but additional disc displacement such as protrusion or herniation may compress ...Read more


Dr. William Singer
1,053 Doctors shared insights

Paralysis (Definition)

A paralyzed limb cannot be voluntarily moved, and the term reflects leg involvement, paraplegia, full body, quadriplegia, and less than full, tetraplegia. Causes can be many, including stroke, trauma, ...Read more