Lumbar Herniated Disc – Frisco, TX
The lower part of the back or the spine is called the lumbar region. It is made up of 5 vertebral bones and each bone has a small disc shaped layer of cartilage tissue which acts as a shock absorber and prevents adjacent bones from rubbing against each other. This disc has two main parts- the outer ring or the annulus fibrosus and a gel like substance called the nucleus pulposus at its center. A break or a crack in the outer ring causes the nucleus pulposus to flow out of the disc and it bulges outwards. This is called Lumbar Disc Herniation. The bulge of the disc may compress the nerve roots that emerge out of the intervertebral joints. This can be physically limiting.

Causes Of Lumbar Herniated Disc

  • Excessive bending, weight lifting and twisting or turning of the spine may lead to disc herniation
  • People who drive long distances regularly are at a risk. Example, truck drivers, cab drivers etc
  • Being in a sedentary mode for a prolonged time period weakens the spinal structure and causes herniation
  • Being overweight stresses the spine
  • Having a poor posture distributed weight unevenly on the spine and lower body joints like the knee, foot, ankle and pelvis
  • Calcium deficient diet causes loss of bone mass and weakening of the spinal vertebrae and stability
  • Genetics- men are at a higher risk of suffering from herniated disc compared to woman due to some genetic factors
  • Natural wear and tear of the body due to ageing and overuse affects the bone health. The tend to become thinner and brittle

Symptoms Of Lumbar Herniated Disc

  • A Lumbar Herniated Disc may or may not present specific symptoms. Some of them are listed below;
  • Pain in the lower back which can be mild to severe. It may also be felt in the legs
  • The pain may get aggravated on coughing and sneezing or if the person bends
  • Muscle spasms and cramps
  • A sharp jab or pain may radiate down the leg. This happens only in one of the legs and if the spinal nerve has been compressed or pinched
  • A tingling or pricking sensation in the lumbar spine or the lower extremities may be reported
  • Weakness and spine instability. The legs also feel weak
  • Numbness in the legs and feet
  • In severe cases of herniation, there may be loss of control over the bladder and bowel function. Urinary incontinence may occur

Diagnosis Of Lumbar Herniated Disc

  • A detailed examination of the spine and lower extremities by the orthopedic to assess the condition. The patient is asked questions about their lifestyle, past medical history, family traits and existing symptoms
  • X-ray imaging to analyse the spinal cord structure is required in most cases. It helps reveal the changes in the vertebrae and loss of disc space
  • CT and MRI scan are essential to examine the soft tissue structures and a three dimensional view of the spine
  • A special scan that is conducted after injecting a dye into the affected part may be done. It is
  • Neurological tests may be required to assess the loss of sensory capabilities in the lower extremities

Treatment For Lumbar Herniated Disc

  • Lumbar Herniated Disc can be treated both surgically and non-surgically depending on the level of the damage and prevailing health condition.
  • Suitable medicines may be prescribed for relief from pain and inflammation. muscle relaxants may provide relief
  • Application of ice packs on the affected area for the first 24-72 hours improves blood flow and reduces swelling
  • Ice packs may be followed or alternated with heat packs to ease the muscle stress and pain
  • Direct injection of corticosteroids gives immediate relief to the patient. This is done if the pain and muscle spasm are persistent inspite of oral medication
  • Discectomy- surgical method employed if the patient fails to respond to conservative therapy. In this procedure the damaged disc and vertebrae are removed after making an incision
  • Activity modification at home and workplace is recommended during the recovery phase
  • Physical therapy sessions need to be incorporated regularly to improve the spinal strength and supporting muscles