Herniated Disc Diagnosis: Exams and Imaging | Scientific Chiropractor
A herniated disc can lead to pain as well as disrupt your daily activities, as you likely know. That is probably what brings you to the office of the doctor: You have back pain or neck pain, and you’d love to understand why.
Your doctor will ask you questions and execute a few exams. This is to try to find the origin of your pain and also to find out which intervertebral disks are herniated. An accurate diagnosis will help your doctor develop a treatment plan method to help you recover and to handle your herniated disc pain and other spine symptoms.
Table of Contents
Physical Exam: Herniated Disc Diagnosis
As part of the physical exam, your doctor will ask about your current symptoms and remedies you have already tried for your pain. Some average herniated disc diagnostic questions include:
- When did the pain begin? Where’s the pain (cervical, thoracic or mid-back, or lumbar or lower back)?
- What activities did you lately do?
- What do you do for your herniated disc pain?
- Can the disc herniation pain radiate or travel to other parts of your body?
- Does anything reduce the disk pain or make it even worse?
Your doctor may also observe your position, range of movement, and physical condition both lying down and standing up. Movement that causes pain will be noticed. A Laségue evaluation, also referred to as the Straight-Leg Raising evaluation, may be accomplished. You’ll be asked to lie down and extend your knee with your hip bent. If it produces pain or makes your pain worse, this may indicate a herniated disc.
With a herniated disc (or a bulging or ruptured disc), you might feel stiff and may have lost your normal spinal curvature because of muscle strain. Your physician may also feel for tightness and note the spine’s curvature and alignment.
Neurological Exam: Herniated Disc Diagnosis
Your spine specialist will also run a neurological exam, which tests your reflexes, muscle strength, other nerve changes, and pain disperse. Radicular pain (pain that travels away from the source of the pain) can increase when stress is applied directly to the affected area. You might, for instance, have sciatica; this is radicular pain that might be caused by the herniated disk. Since the disc is compressing a nerve, you might experience pain and symptoms in other areas of the body, although the origin of the pain is on your spine.
Imaging Tests for Herniated Discs
Your spine specialist may order imaging tests to help diagnose your injury or condition; you might have to see an imaging facility for those evaluations.
An X-ray may demonstrate a secondhand disk space, fracture, bone spur, or arthritis, which might rule out disk herniation. A computerized axial tomography scan (a CT or CAT scan) or a magnetic resonance imaging test (an MRI) equally can show soft tissue of a bulging disk or herniateddisc. So that you may get treatment these tests will demonstrate location and the stage of the herniated discs.
Other Tests to Diagnose a Herniated Disc
To obtain the most accurate identification, your spine specialist may order additional tests, for example:
- Electromyography (EMG): He or she may order an examination known as an electromyography to measure your nerves respond, if your spine pro suspects you’ve got nerve damage.
- Discogram or discography: A sterile procedure where dye is injected into one of your vertebral disc and seen under special conditions (fluoroscopy). The goal is to pinpoint which disk(s) might be causing your pain.
- Bone scan: This technique generates film or computer images of bones. A very small number of radioactive substance is injected into a blood vessel throughout the blood flow. It collects on your bones and can be detected by a scanner. This procedure helps doctors detect spinal problems such as disease, a fracture, tumor, or arthritis.
- Laboratory evaluations: Typically blood is attracted (venipuncture) and tested to determine if the blood cells are normal or abnormal. A metabolic disease which might be contributing to a back pain may be indicated by Chemical changes in the blood.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Sciatica
Lower back pain is one of the most commonly reported symptoms among the general population. Sciatica, is well-known group of symptoms, including lower back pain, numbness and tingling sensations, which often describe the source of an individual’s lumbar spine issues. Sciatica can be due to a variety of injuries and/or conditions, such as spinal misalignment, or subluxation, disc herniation and even spinal degeneration.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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