What is slip disc or herniated disc?
What are symptoms (complains) of a slip disc or herniated disc?
What causes the slip disc?
How is the diagnosis of a herniated or slip disc made?
The diagnosis of lumbar disc herniation requires history where the patient complains of low back pain which goes down the leg and that too the backside of the leg i.e.; from hip to the back of thigh and leg/foot (this is classical sciatica pain). While with cervical disc herniation, a patient complains of neck pain which also goes to the arm and hands.
Next, a thorough examination by a spine specialist is done by checking sensations, muscle strength, reflexes, etc. With this much information an experienced specialist doctor can most of the times tell what is likely the cause and where is the slip disc i.e.; whether it is in cervical / dorsal/ lumbar area.
Next, he advises you to undergo MRI investigation for confirmation of the diagnosis, which is again a simple test like any scan and thus does not require any prick or anesthesia. These 3 things (complaints, examination, MRI) when “put together” give surely the further plan of action. This “put together” is actually the most important aspect which decides the correct plan in case of a herniated disc, and it comes with only experience and many years of dedicated practice of the specialist doctor.