Lumbar Herniated Disc
Lumbar Herniated Disc
Lower back pain is extremely common, and a lumbar herniated disc is one of the biggest causes.
A herniated disc is a condition that happens to a spinal disc. Our backs are built with spinal discs between the vertebrae. The lumbar (lower back) has five vertebrae, and four discs. Lumbar discs serve as shock absorbers and help the spine to move more freely. Each disc is lined with an endplate to help hold it in place, an outer band called an annulus fibrosus, and an soft, gelatinous inner substance called nucleus pulposus.
When a disc herniates, the annulus fibrosus tears and some or all of the nucleus pulposus leaks out. This, of course, means a reduction in padding which, as you can imagine, can be very painful. Without the nucleus pulposus, there can be pressure on the spinal cord or spinal nerves, which can cause pain to radiate elsewhere.
Many young and middle-aged adults will experience a herniated disc, because it’s main cause is aging. It’s a degenerative disease that naturally develops as the nucleus pulposus dehydrates and weakens with age. Trauma is also a common cause, second to aging. At MOTUS, some of our athletic clients have gotten a lumbar herniated disc after a high-impact incident from their sport. Repetitive motions and overuse in the lower back can also contribute to the deterioration of the lumbar discs, which explains why golfers are more susceptible.
Because the lower back twists and bends more than other parts of the spine, lumbar herniated discs are far more common than cervical disc herniation. This is definitely something that we look for when patients present with lower back pain.
If you have a lumbar herniated disc from a trauma, you could probably pinpoint when it happened. When we are examining you for a diagnosis, we will ask about your history and any previous incidents, and we’ll want you to describe your symptoms and how long they’ve been present. Patients usually experience severe, radiating lower back pain, sometimes with spasms, atrophy, weakness, or tingling. They may also have trouble walking comfortably.
We have seen a lot of lumbar herniated discs at MOTUS, and are experts at spotting this common source of back pain. Once we have pinpointed the cause, we can start working on a recovery plan. We can treat your current pain with innovative tools like NMES or Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy. Your specialist will also create a physical therapy and exercise routine to help you regain motion and strength. Staying active and maintaining healthy body movements is important in protecting from herniated discs in the future.