Spinal hernia symptoms: How to recognise a hernia?
Spinal hernia symptoms may differ from patient to patient, but the initial symptom often involve pain in the lower back. Because a herniated disk in the lumbar spine affects the nerves in your lower back, the pain may also radiate down one or both legs.
Pain may be accompanied by muscles spasms or cramps. As a result, the normal curvature of the spine may gradually shift inward, and this may be felt when you bend forward, stand, or tilt your body to either side.
Spinal hernias may or may not cause pain
The intensity of the pain caused by a spinal hernia is highly variable. Sometimes a spinal hernia may cause little or no pain, but at times the pain is so intense that it interferes with your daily routine.
In many cases, low back pain disappears after a while. However, the pain in your legs remains and may even increase in its intensity. If the back pain disappears, this does not necessarily mean that your hernia is no longer there. In fact, surgery may still be necessary.
The following symptoms are typical of a spinal hernia:
- The majority of patients experience pain in the lower spine.
- You experience a radiating pain in one or both legs, other parts of your back and / or the buttocks. The pain may sometimes be felt below the knees and as far down as your feet.
- The pain gets worse when your lower back is under strain, and when you cough or sneeze.
- In many cases, the pain associated with a spinal hernia gets worse when a nerve is “pulled”. You can check if this is the case by lying on your back and then lifting the leg where you feel pain while keeping your knee straight. This is also known as the Lasègue test.
- Your deep tendon reflexes may be impaired. Spinal hernias located between the fifth lumbar vertebra and the first sacral vertebra (i.e. the bottom part of your lower back), often result in a reduced Achilles tendon reflex.
- You have trouble keeping your knees straight when bending forward and your mobility is well below normal parameters when your try reach the ground with your fingers. This is known as reduced hand-finger ground distance.
Author: Menno Iprenburg
Will a spinal hernia operation at the Iprenburg Spinal Clinic make a difference to me?
In order to help you faster and more efficiently, we ask you to fill in our patient assessment form and send us a recent MRI report (not older than 6 months). This will only take ten minutes of your time. Please note that we are unable to offer advice without having seen your MRI.
Within a few days of sending in these documents, you will receive a non-binding preliminary diagnosis free of charge, as well as personalised advice on the most suitable treatment. We will then be able to assess whether a visit to Iprenburg Spine Clinic and a PTED procedure will make a difference to your condition.
Please contact our clinic if you wish to be seen on the basis of the preliminary diagnosis received from our specialist at Iprenburg Spine Clinic. We can then arrange an appointment at short notice so that comprehensive neurological and orthopedic examinations can take place. We will reach a final diagnosis based on these examinations and on a careful consideration of your MRI. If you have a hernia that can be repaired through the PTED technique, the surgery can be quickly arranged. You will not need to be referred by your GP if you wish to book a consultation with us.