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What are the signs of a torn disc in the lower back?

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Quick Answer

Pain commonly emanating from the lower back, often on one side of the body and extending to the arms and legs is a strong signal of a torn disc, states Healthline.com. A torn disc, also known as a herniated or slipped disc, can cause pain in the back that worsens when sitting, standing or walking short distances, as well as a tingling or burning feeling in the area of the damaged disc.

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Full Answer

A torn or herniated disc is considered to be acute and likely the result of a traumatic event, according to WebMD.com. The injury does not have to be the result of a fall or accident, symptoms of pain can occur and increase over weeks from an awkward movement, routine daily activities and turning the wrong way while asleep.

Torn or slipped discs can be treated conservatively by exercise programs, avoiding certain activities and taking over the counter medicines to relieve pain, advises MayoClinic.org. There are 26 bones in the spinal column cushioned by discs. If a tear is big enough in a torn disc, the gelatinous liquid inside can leak out and put pressure against a nerve along the spinal column. When left untreated, permanent nerve damage can occur. In severe cases where the tear is large enough and conservative methods are not easing the pain, surgery may be necessary to repair the torn disc.

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