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Lumbar Herniated Disc - Symptoms

If the herniated disc isn't pressing on a nerve, you may have an ache in the low back or no symptoms at all.

Only a few people who have herniated discs have severe or troublesome symptoms.

When the disc does press on a nerve, symptoms may include:

  • Pain that travels through the buttock and down a leg to the ankle or foot because of pressure on the sciatic nerve camera.gif. Low back pain may accompany the leg pain.
  • Tingling ("pins-and-needles" sensation) or numbness in one leg that can begin in the buttock or behind the knee and extend to the thigh, ankle, or foot.
  • Weakness in certain muscles in one or both legs.
  • Pain in the front of the thigh.
  • Severe deep muscle pain and muscle spasms

Cauda equina syndrome

Weakness in both legs and the loss of bladder and/or bowel control are symptoms of a specific and severe type of nerve root compression called cauda equina syndrome. This is a rare but serious problem. A person with these symptoms should see a doctor right away.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: January 21, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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