Indicators Of A Herniated Disk In Your Back

Back pain is incredibly common.

How do you know whether the pain you’re feeling is common back pain or something much worse like a herniated or ruptured disk?

Here are two specific things to be on the lookout for:

Location, Location, Location

Herniated disks are most common in your lower back. If the pain is in your mid-back or higher, it still may be a herniated disk, but it’s much less likely.

Affected by Movement

Herniated disks tend to cause you more pain when you’re active and less pain when you’re at rest. Note that “activity” here doesn’t necessarily mean being hard at work. It could be something as simple as coughing or sneezing.

If you still aren’t sure, it is time to consult your doctor.

This one is a no-brainer. No amount of self diagnosis can take the place of consulting with your doctor to be sure. A physical examination, supported by some additional tests is the best way to pinpoint the source of the pain. This will either confirm or rule out a herniated disk as the cause.


Where additional tests are concerned, your doctor may order either an MRI, a CAT Scan, or a Myelogram to confirm that the pain you’re feeling stems from a herniated disk.

An MRI creates a detailed 3D image of your spine and the surrounding tissues and is probably the best way to determine not only what’s causing your back pain, but which specific nerves are being impacted.

A CAT Scan is essentially the process of taking X-rays from several different angles then combining them to create a composite image which will give you and your doctor a detailed look at your spine.

A Myelogram is a test that relies on a dye injected into your spinal fluid, combined with an X-ray to locate the specific point where your spine is experiencing pressure.

Whichever test your doctor orders, you and he or she will be able to get to the bottom of what’s causing your back pain in short order.

Why Your Neck Hurts In The Morning

Does your neck hurt when you wake up in the morning? It’s a surprisingly common problem. The vast majority of the time, the pain can be traced back to something specific you’re doing when you sleep. Here are some of the more common causes of chronic morning neck pain:

The Position You’re Sleeping In

Are you a side sleeper? A stomach sleeper? Most people have a favorite sleeping position. Unfortunately, not all sleeping positions are equally good for your neck. If you sleep on your stomach, you have to twist your head and neck to one side or the other, which can put more pressure on nerves and muscles in your neck than they normally get, which can lead to a painful start to your morning.

Your Sleep Habits

Most people have highly inconsistent sleep habits and their bedrooms simply aren’t optimized for a decent night’s sleep. The two simplest things you can do to improve the quality of your sleep and minimize your chances of waking up with a sore neck are as follows:

First, start going to bed at the same time every night. This one simple change will make a huge difference. Two, don’t go to bed tense. Just before bed, make a conscious effort to relax. Whether you do that via meditation or a brief stretching routine, or a cup of hot tea, just make sure you’re relaxed when your head hits that pillow.

The Pillow You’re Using

The right pillow positions your head so that it’s in a neutral position while you’re sleeping, which is to say that your nose is aligned with your spine.

If your pillow is overstuffed, it will change the angle of your head. If it’s too flat for you, it will bend your neck too far back the other way while you’re sleeping. In both cases, you spend the entire night with your head out of alignment and by morning, your neck is usually screaming in protest.

Follow these simple tests to find out if they help you experience less neck pain every morning.

Why Your Body Hurts When You Are Sick

Don’t you hate it when you get sick and basically everything hurts?

If you’ve ever wondered why that is and if there’s anything you can do about it, then this article is for you.

Read and find out!

Why You Ache When You’re Sick

Your body is working overtime when you get a cold or the flu. Basically, your immune system engages in chemical warfare against the germs that are invading your system. Unfortunately, muscle aches are a common side effect of the chemical agents your body releases to fight germs.

Even though it may not feel like it at the time, aches and pains when you’re sick are actually a good sign. They mean that your body is doing what it’s supposed to be doing to fight off the infection or the germs.

It’s also worth mentioning that when you’re running a fever, you’re more likely to become dehydrated, which can make muscle aches and pains worse.

What You Can Do About The Pain

The good news is that most of the time, the aches and pains you’re feeling will be fairly mild. More of an annoyance than debilitating, but they can still be unpleasant.

Here are a few simple things you can do to help keep them at bay.

  1. Stay Hydrated – You’re more likely to become dehydrated when you’re sick, and dehydration makes muscle aches worse. So drinking plenty of fluids when you’re sick is more important than most people realize.
  2. Heat – The application of a heating pad or an electric blanket to cover the aching areas of your body can help. A hot shower will too.
  3. Massage – Who doesn’t like a good massage, right? Nothing beats a good massage when you’re not feeling well. Not only is it incredibly relaxing, but it will make short work of those sore muscles.

Naturally, if you find yourself experiencing severe muscle pain, don’t bother with any of the above. Call your doctor right away to get to the bottom of it because there may be something much more serious going on.

Repetitive Work Could Be Causing Your Pain

Do you suffer from sharp, shooting pain that seems to originate in or around one of your joints? If so, then an RSI (Repetitive Strain Injury) could be the culprit.

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, we’ll tell you what RSIs are and how to avoid them.

Starting With The What: An RSI is exactly what it sounds like. An injury caused by a particular repetitive motion. Runners can get them. People who run scanners in retail stores can. People who type all day can. Basically, if you spend several hours a day making the same basic motion with any part of your body, it can cause enough stress over time to cause an injury, and they are painful!

The symptoms of an RSI are numerous and may include any of the following:

  • Loss of strength
  • Loss of sensation
  • Tingling in the area surrounding the impacted joint (most often noticed in the hands and arms)
  • A throbbing sensation that may accompany the pain
  • Tenderness or shooting pain

Broadly speaking, RSIs fall into one of two categories. Type 1 RSIs are musculoskeletal in nature, while Type 2 RSIs are caused by nerve damage.

What To Do About Them:

Whatever the root cause of your RSI, there are multiple treatment options available. You’ll want to work with your doctor to map out a treatment plan that makes the most sense for you. Among other things, your options include:

  • Surgery
  • Steroid injections
  • Physical therapy
  • A simple splint on the affected area
  • The application of heat and/or cold
  • The taking of anti-inflammatory medications or muscle relaxers.

RSIs are no laughing matter. If you have one, the pain can keep you from enjoying life to the fullest. Don’t take any chances. See your doctor right away and get to the root cause of the pain.