Pinched siotic nerve
by Nathan Wei, MD, FACP, FACR
Nathan Wei is a nationally known board-certified rheumatologist and author of the Second Opinion Arthritis Treatment Kit. It's available exclusively at this website... not available in stores.
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The correct spelling is "sciatic".
The symptoms of "slipped" or herniated disc flare up are pain, numbness and/or tingling, and weakness in the legs. Herniated disk may also cause bladder and bowel dysfunction.
Symptoms can be local, e.g. pain and back spasm at the level of the ruptured disc. But they often radiate down one or both legs. A herniated lumbar disc generates a stabbing pain that may shoot down the leg from the level of the herniated disc, or occasionally from the level of the buttocks. This pain is called sciatica, or radiculopathy, and is caused when the soft nucleus of the disc ruptures through its outer ring and presses on the sciatic nerve roots.
The pain is not mild or moderate. It is an intense, severe, pain often described as if the leg has been plugged into an electrical socket.
Symptoms of a Slipped or Ruptured Disc:-
If the pinched nerve is at the L3-4 level there will be weakness of the quadriceps and tibialis anterior muscles, loss of the knee jerk reflex, sensory loss along the medial knee and shin, and pain in the anterior thigh.
If the pinched nerve is at the L4-5 level, there will be weakness of big toe extension, no altered reflex, sensory loss involving the big toe, and pain in the back of the thigh and lateral calf.
If the pinched nerve is at the L5-S1 level, there will be weakness of the gastrocnemius muscle leading to weakness of ankle plantar flexion, loss of the Achilles reflex, sensory loss of the lateral foot and heel, and pain in the back of the thigh and calf.
Frequency of diagnosis of slipped or ruptured disc:- L5-S1 48% of the time, L4-5 42% of the time, L3-4 about 5%. Herniation of other lumbar discs is rare.
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