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Doctor insights on: Herniated Disc Or Muscle Strain

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Is it herniated disc or muscle strain, how can I tell?

Is it herniated disc or muscle strain, how can I tell?

Back: While both can cause pain in your back slipped discs very commonly also cause nerve pinch type symptoms with pain radiating down the leg. Ultimately, an evaluation from your doctor and perhaps an MRI would be helpful. ...Read more

Muscle (Definition)

It is a body tissue that has the ability to contract. It shortens and generates force. It relaxes and returns to its original length. Muscles move joints, stabilize the body, move air and food through the organs, act as valves for bladder, bowel and other organs. They control movement of the eyes. They help us express ourselves by changing the shape of our ...Read more

Dr. Ryan Pflugner
Board Certified, Sports Medicine
9 years in practice
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What is the difference between a herniated disk and a pulled muscle?

What is the difference between a herniated disk and a pulled muscle?

Both can be painful: But a pulled muscle is a tearing of the actual muscle fibers and will heal within 6 weeks and not cause any neurologic or nerve findings while a disc herniation is a tearing of the outer coating of the disc with a piece of the disc shifting its position out of its normal place which can lead to muscular pain or even compress nerve tissue leading to neurologic findings with most healing over time. ...Read more

Dr. Ryan Pflugner
Board Certified, Sports Medicine
9 years in practice
121.0K people helped
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Treating Muscle Strain (Checklist)

Determine cause, if possible
Once
Try R.I.C.E. (rest, ice, compression, elevation)
Daily
Ease back into activity. Don't overdo it!
Once
Consider physical therapy or range of motion massage
Once
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Lower back pain. How to tell the difference between muscle strain n slipped lumbar disc?

Lower back pain. How to tell the difference between muscle strain n slipped lumbar disc?

Some differences: Muscle strain: Soreness in the back, but not buttocks, thigh or leg. Better with rest, ibuprofen, heat. Heals in 6 weeks (unless re-injured). "Slipped disc": Actually a disc herniation. Has muscle soreness as above since muscles try to protect the back. May have buttock, thigh and/or leg pain. Worse after prolonged sitting. May have leg numbness, tingling or weakness. Does not heal in 6 weeks. ...Read more

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I have L4 and L5 compressed discs and possibly one in my neck, muscle strain & spasms would it be ok to go on a 5 hr road trip? I was in a car accident in aug/11 and injured my right shoulder, neck and back. I have a stiff shoulder (possible adhesive caps

I have L4 and L5 compressed discs and possibly one in my neck, muscle strain & spasms would it be ok to go on a 5 hr road trip? I was in a car accident in aug/11 and injured my right shoulder, neck and back. I have a stiff shoulder (possible adhesive caps

Take breaks: I would not recommend being the driver on this road trip if possible, especially not if you're taking pain medications that cause sedation or impaired ability to drive. During the trip, take regular breaks to get out of the car, stretch and relax. Take a break every 30-60 min, or whenever you find the discomfort increasing. ...Read more

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Treating Muscle Strain (Checklist)

Rest the injured muscle
once
Wear a splint or brace to support the limb
once
Ice, or alternate heat and ice, on the extremity
30 min, 3x day for 2 weeks
Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, or Naproxen only if unbearable pain at rest
2x day
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I have a herniated disc at t3-t4 from an accident burning pain in chest and muscle pain is this bad?

I have a herniated disc at t3-t4 from an accident  burning pain in chest and muscle pain is this bad?

Back pain: The back pain can be caused by muscle strain, spinal stenosis, ruptured disc, nerve impingement ... It sounds like you are experiencing nerve pain. Before we can say if this bad, we need to know how severe is your conditions. Please see a pain management doctor or spine surgeon, you might benefit from a comprehensive evaluation and treatment. ...Read more

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A recent MRI found I have a herniated disc in neck. I have had it for 2+ years. Meds (muscle relaxers, pain meds) don't help. What are my options?

A recent MRI found I have a herniated disc in neck. I have had it for 2+ years. Meds (muscle relaxers, pain meds) don't help. What are my options?

Neurosurgery consult: If you have neurologic symptoms in your arms or hands, such as numbness or weakness, i would consult with a neurosurgeon. Physical therapy can sometimes help, but not so much with symptoms that have been going on so long. ...Read more

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Treating Muscle Strain (Checklist)

Apply ice
3x day
Take motrin 3x/day
3x day
Rest the muscles that hurt
daily
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What are the pain differences between lower back muscle pain an herniated disc pain?

What are the pain differences between lower back muscle pain an herniated disc pain?

Radiation: Herniated discs usually cause radiating pain along the nerve pattern of the nerve they compress and often don't cause back pain. Back pain is usually representative of a structural problem at the sight of the pain either in the bone, joints, muscles or connective tissue. ...Read more

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Dr. Adam Lewis
642 doctors shared insights

Herniated Disk (Definition)

Herniated disk is also known as Bulging disk. Herniated disk is a medical condition in which the gel like disk between the bones of the spine squeezes out of its center position. Because nerves run in the spine right next to the disk, a herniated disk can compress a nerve and cause symptoms such as low back ...Read more

Dr. Thomas Dowling
705 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

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Dr. Ryan Pflugner
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9 years in practice
121.0K people helped
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