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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


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Lower back pain from lifting heavy barbell. Acute lower left back pain. No problems walking, running. Pain bending down. Strain or herniated disc?

Lower back pain from lifting heavy barbell. Acute lower left back pain. No problems walking, running. Pain bending down. Strain or herniated disc?

Most likely...: Most likely you have lumbar strain but it still could be something else... If the pain gets worse, starts shooting down a leg or doesn't go away, see a healthcare provider. Good luck. ...Read more

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Is it possible to have to strain to empty bladder at times, but have incontinence as well? I have herniated disc, sciatica. Mri confirmed. Annoyed!

Is it possible to have to strain to empty bladder at times, but have incontinence as well? I have herniated disc, sciatica. Mri confirmed. Annoyed!

This is an emergency: With that information of having to strain yourself to urinate and having episodes of incontinence, you need to seek treatment immediately, I would recommend the ER with a spine consult. ...Read more

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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

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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?

One can cause other: It is kind of you should be called instability, which can cause a muscle strain. We call that muscle guarding in the osteopathic world. The way to really differentiate a problem from a discrimination, use when the disc is pressing on the nerve causing shooting pain down the leg. This is when its a surgical problem. When the pain is on the back, even if there was a disk involve, it is non surgical. ...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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If I have herniated disc-no pain, will riding bike in the "aero" position lead to worse leg muscle weakness?

If I have herniated disc-no pain, will riding bike in the "aero" position lead to worse leg muscle weakness?

Herniated Disc: Not necessarily. It depends on whether there is any nerve compression and where, anatomically, the compression is located. Your doctor can provide better advice by performing an MRI of the spine, if he hasn't already. Unless you have had sciatica or a previous history of leg weakness, you can always try a bicycle run and see if it affects you. ...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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I took 300mg of gabapentin last night before bed for a herniated disc and it made the pain worse I had trouble standing could not relax my muscle?

I took 300mg of gabapentin last night before bed for a herniated disc and it made the pain worse I had trouble standing could not relax my muscle?

Not likely: It would be very unusual for Gabapentin to make pain worse. It is very effective for a radiculopathy like Sciatica from a herniated disc. I strongly suspect your increased pain was unrelated to the Gabapentin. Gabapentin reaches maximum therapeutic effect after taking it for a number of days. 300 mg is likely an ineffective dose. **Ask your physician about increasing it to 600 mg. ...Read more

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Is it possible that a c5-c6 herniated disc cause muscle issues in the dorsal area? If so, does an operation that removes the prolapsed part fix it?

Is it possible that a c5-c6 herniated disc cause muscle issues in the dorsal area? If so, does an operation that removes the prolapsed part fix it?

C5 and 6: Yes, C5 and C6 roots innervate a number of muscles on your upper back, including contributing to supraspinatus, infraspinatus, subscapularis and teres minor. If you are having weakness in these muscles, prior to surgery, I would recommend to have an EMG prior to surgery to make sure its due to nerve root issue. If you have surgery, it could help, but depends on time severity whether it recovers. ...Read more

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When there is a herniated disc compressing a nerve, do the muscles innervated by the nerve become tight and weak?

When there is a herniated disc compressing a nerve, do the muscles innervated by the nerve become tight and weak?

YES: The main problem here involves progressive muscular atrophy and weakness secondary to the nerve compression, unless this can be reversed. This kind of issue often results in a decision to do operation to relieve the problems. The tightness, or spasms, may involve paraspinal muscles which contributes to an additional component of pain. ...Read more

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What is the best cardio after healing from herniated disc? Can I get back the muscles of my midsection (six pack)?

What is the best cardio after healing from herniated disc? Can I get back the muscles of my midsection (six pack)?

Swimming or cycling: Will not put as much strain on your back as jogging. Abdominal exercises such as situps or crunches should be avoided. Planks or yoga will assist in regaining toned abdomen. Thanks for trusting HealthTap! ...Read more

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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?

Disc pain= leg pain: Usually low back muscle pain stays localized to the lower back, occasionally it can radiate up your spine. Pain from a herniated disc can cause not only low back pain, but more importantly leg pain. Your nerves are like electrical cords, when you put pressure on a nerve near your spine (like a herniated disc) you can cause pain along the entire length of the nerve; down your leg. ...Read more

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Mild back pain for 1-2 days, then 2wks later both hamstrings and calves had less tone, though other muscles are the same is this due to herniated disc?

Mild back pain for 1-2 days, then 2wks later both hamstrings and calves had less tone, though other muscles are the same is this due to herniated disc?

Doubtful: It does not sound like this should be due to a ruptured disc. I am not sure what you mean by less tone, however. A ruptured disc usually causes severe leg pain or weakness in one or both of your legs. Seek medical attention if you are concerned. ...Read more

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65 yr old male. I have herniated disc L4 L5. Can this cause muscle spasms in the pelvic floor?

Back pain sequellae: I think it's possible that you could have pain in the lower abdomen, pelvic area or into your legs due to the herniated disc. Maybe not directly from the disc pushing on the nerves, but possibly because you are moving differently, using different muscles, to "protect" the painful area in your back and prevent it from hurting. If unable to control bowels or bladder, see a doctor quickly. ...Read more

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Pain down the back of left leg and into my calf muscle. I am currently on workers comp. I have a work injury, its 3 herniated disc in my neck. Over the past 2 weeks I have been having pain in lower back side and pain in my left calf muscle. I woke up 2 nites

You: You could have a cord compression or myelopathy but this is not very common. This type of problem is more common with pinched nerves to the low back. Another possibility with calf pain is a blood clot in the area which should be evaluated immediately. Tell your doctor right away. After examination he may request a doppler test for further evaluation. ...Read more

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Think I just ruptured lower back herniated disc l4/l5. Acute sharp pain, intense muscle spasms. Hurts to move. What should I do?

Think I just ruptured lower back herniated disc l4/l5. Acute sharp pain, intense muscle spasms. Hurts to move. What should I do?

Seek Medical Attn: I would recommend seeking medical attention in the er or if you don't want to go, then at least call your primary care physician who knows your entire medical history for advice. ...Read more

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Dr. Thomas Dowling
845 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. Rohit Keswani
797 Doctors shared insights

Muscle Strain (Definition)

Muscle strain, also called a pulled muscle, is a condition where a muscle or its tendon is overstretched and torn leading to pain, decreased range ...Read more