Is this a muscle pain or disc injury?

The type of pain you are having is usually a dead giveaway to the root cause of your injury.

 

Muscle injuries tend to be any of the following:

 

Dull

 

Achy

 

Tight

 

Annoying 

 

Disc injuries tend to be more of the following:

 

Sharp

 

Stabbing

 

Burning

 

Numb

 

Intense 

 

Often in my practice I get patients in that just swear its the muscle being tight or a spasm, but that spasm is happening for a reason....

 

To help unload the damaged disc!

 

Another useful criteria for if it is just muscle or disc is the intensity level.

 

I use a 0 to 10 scale in my office. 

 

0 is absolutely no pain and 10 is you don’t care if I cut the body part off because you can’t deal with it anymore.

 

Muscular issues usually live in the 3 to 7 range, disc injuries are in the 9 to 10 range.  

 

This is really important in trying to figure out the root cause of your injury and pain, but often it is completely missed by most doctors.

 

They tell you to just lay off it, get some stretches and it will all get better.

 

They are wrong! When a disc is bad it tends to get worse over time. 

 

So what do you do if you are having a disc injury?

 

First step, don't panic.

 

These tend to be really bad in the initial phases and will eventually “settle” down in a few days.

 

Definitely don’t go to the ER or a walk-in clinic, they tend to really mess these cases up as I cover in the video below.

 

If the pain is still lingering after a week then its time to get evaluated and see an expert to determine the extent of the injury.

 

You can find the best doctors in the world here.

 

Take care. 

 

Dr. Maggio