How to Know if You Have a Herniated Disc

A herniated disc, also known as a slipped or ruptured disc, occurs when the soft center of a spinal disc pushes through a crack in the tougher exterior casing. This can irritate nearby nerves, leading to pain, numbness, or weakness. 

If you suspect you might have a herniated disc, here are some signs and symptoms to watch out for:


  • Neck pain (if the herniation is in the cervical spine).
  • Lower back pain (if it’s in the lumbar spine). The pain might worsen with certain movements or while sitting/standing.

Radiating Pain

  • Pain can radiate down your arms or legs, depending on where the herniated disc is. For instance, a herniation in the lower back could lead to sciatica – sharp pain traveling down the back of one leg.

Numbness or Tingling

  • You might experience a “pins and needles” sensation in the area served by the affected nerves.


  • Muscles served by the affected nerves tend to weaken. This can cause stumbling, or affect your ability to lift or hold items.

Range of Motion Limitations

  • Reduced flexibility or a limited range of movement in the neck or back.

And always remember this: If you have persistent pain, numbness, weakness, or tingling that doesn’t improve or worsens over time, it’s essential to consult with a medical professional. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you can put this problem behind you. 

Virginia Spine Specialists is an award-winning, minimally invasive spinal care practice with locations in Fredericksburg, VA and Manassas, VA. We also serve these Northern and Central Virginia locations: Haymarket, Gainesville, Culpepper, Front Royal, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Colonial Beach, Tappahannock and Lake Anna.