Lumbar Herniated Disc: Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Introduction

Experiencing chronic pain in the lower back region? It could be due to a lumbar herniated disc! Read this blog for a detailed overview of lumbar herniated disc condition, its symptoms, causes and treatment options. Let’s get started!

What is a lumbar herniated disc?

To begin with, the spine present in the lower back region is called the lumbar spine. When a spinal disc in the lumbar spine region becomes herniated (abnormal protrusion/rupture), it’s termed a lumbar herniated disc. Lumbar herniated disc is quite a prevalent condition among the masses since the lower back area of the spine is the most common area where herniated disc occurs.

What are the symptoms of a lumbar herniated disc?

Before checking out the symptoms, it’s important to note that around 90% of individuals with a lumbar herniated disc don’t experience any symptoms or pain even 6 weeks after the condition develops in their body. Having said that, some people with a lumbar herniated disc experience excruciating pain in the lower back region due to the herniated disc pressing against a nearby nerve and inflaming it. Following are the common symptoms of a lumbar herniated disc:

  • Constant leg pain
  • Radiating nerve pain in the back of the leg
  • Numbness, weakness, tingling sensation in the leg, foot, toes
  • Stiffness in the lower back area, accompanied by dull pain
  • Pain experienced after sitting or standing for an extended period
  • Pain felt after bending/hunching forward in the waist region

What are the causes of a lumbar herniated disc?

Common risk factors or causes that contribute to a lumbar herniated disc condition are:

  • Having age between 35 – 50 years
  • Constantly doing jobs involving heavy lifting or physical labour
  • Men are around twice more likely to develop a lumbar herniated disc than women
  • Obesity increases the risk of developing a lumbar herniated disc
  • Smoking accelerates disc degeneration & hinders the healing process, increasing the possibility of lumbar disc herniation
  • Having a family history of spinal disc wear & tear enhances the possibility of a lumbar herniated disc

Nonsurgical treatments for a lumbar herniated disc

Opting for nonsurgical treatments for spinal disc conditions is the best thing to do because spine surgery involves a wide range of risks, potential side effects & complications.

Physical therapy

Consulting a physiotherapist to learn strengthening exercises for the lower back region & abdominal muscles can help relieve pain caused by a lumbar herniated disc.

Holistic therapies

These therapies generally focus on the body, mind & spirit to help support the healing process and overall health of a person.

Complications with Surgery

As mentioned earlier, spine surgery for a herniated disc or any other spinal condition is a very risky procedure with a lot of potential complications. These complications comprise:

  • Bleeding
  • Infection
  • Nerve injury
  • Adverse body reaction to anaesthesia
  • Dural tear (tear of the sac surrounding the nerves)
  • Hematoma (pool of largely clotted blood) leading to nerve compression
  • Recurring disc herniation
  • Need for another surgery

Conclusion

A lumbar herniated disc can be a minor or major condition, depending on whether the disc herniation affects a nearby nerve or not. If you are suffering from persistent lower back pain, then schedule a Free Consultation with our Spine Specialists at your nearest ANSSI Wellness Centre. Click here to book an appointment:

Yes, in many cases, the bulging disc symptoms go away after a period of time.

MRI is the best diagnostic test to detect herniated & bulging discs.

Massage can provide short-term relief from chronic back pain caused by a bulging disc.

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