Having a herniated disc is a common medical condition that many people acquire, especially if they are not that young anymore. They can get it suddenly, after an unfortunate accident, or gradually, as they are continually involved in activities that stress their spinal column.
This condition is treatable and because of that it is always recommended, if you have severe back pains, to go to the doctor as soon as possible, as he can give you all the advice needed for a fast recovery. Avoiding the doctor is not something you should do, for the pain experienced might torment you, while further complications might also appear. This can lead you to more critical situations and if that happens, your body will be suffering for a really long time.
Knowing what type of diagnosis to expect can help you make up your mind to visit the doctor sooner, as you will find out that no painful procedures that might make you feel even worse than you already are will be required.
Here are the common diagnosing methods done for patients suspected of a herniated disc:
Only one method of physical examination is performed for diagnosing a herniated disc. This involves raising your leg straight. It is used to rule out a possible lower lumbar disc herniation. Depending on the exact area where the patient is experiencing pain, he might be asked to raise his leg while being seated. Even though it represents a simple way of knowing if there is any chance that the patient is suffering from a herniated disc, this method is too basic for any real diagnosis to be formed.
Imaging using modern equipment
Technology comes in handy for patients suspected of suffering from a herniated disc, as it can easily determine the exact particularities of the condition, without putting the patient to a painful examination. All the following methods of diagnostic are extremely accurate and completely pain free.
- CT Scan or computed tomography: Able to show the contents and shape of the spinal canal, this modern diagnostic method involves the creation of a special diagnostic image by a computer that reads x-rays. This is a highly accurate method of diagnosis, preferable in most cases when a patient is considered to suffer from a herniated disc. Since most medical institutions have this kind of technology available, it makes it perhaps the most used one for most diagnosis, including herniated discs.
- X-rays: This traditional method of scanning the body, even if it is effective, cannot provide enough information related to a herniated disc, information that can allow the ruling out of many other complications associated with this medical condition. However, x-rays represent a low cost and fast method of confirming the presence of this condition. Then more advanced scanning methods can be used for further analysis and discovery of any other particular variations of a herniated disc.
- MRI or magnetic resonance imaging: With the advantage of being able to show soft tissues better than a CT scan, this method of diagnosis that produces images in three dimensions using magnets is highly efficient in discovering the exact particularities of a herniated disc condition. Often, all the medical establishments that have access to this kind of technology consider it as the best choice in correctly diagnosing a herniated disc.
- NCS or nerve conduction studies: Able to exactly measure the electrical impulse of the nerves, this method is often employed in the cases when the doctor wants to find out the degree of the nerve damage, or if there is any damage at all. This method can tell if the recovering process is going as intended, or if any other complications have appeared, complications that require additional measures.
The medical technologies available nowadays make the diagnosing of a herniated disc a pain free and highly accurate process that subsequently allows for appropriate treatment to be prescribed by the doctor. This automatically leads to a more effective and fast recovery period that is only in the patient´s advantage.
For this reason, go to the doctor as soon as you experience any symptoms related to a herniated disc, if you have motives to believe you might suffer from that condition. Postponing the visit to the doctor with the hope that the pain will simply go away is something that might lead to some severe complications that could have been otherwise completely avoided. There are no reasons to fear any diagnosing procedures that you might be undergoing, as they are completely free from any type of pain and require only a very small portion of your time
Also, going from the start to a well equipped hospital is a good idea, as there you will be able to undergo the most appropriate method of treatment for your case, without having to visit another medical establishment that is better equipped.
The methods used nowadays for diagnosing a herniated disc involve modern medical equipment that ensures accuracy and excellent comfort for the patient.
You can also visit “All About Herniated Disc” for more information.