Sometimes called a ruptured or slipped disc, your lower back pain often occurs due to a herniated disc in the lumbar spine. In fact, it’s one of the most common causes of low back pain, in addition to sciatica.
Between 60 and 80 percent of people will experience back pain at least once throughout their lifetime. A high proportion of these individuals will have low back and leg pain brought on by a herniated disc.
Most people feel better with just a few weeks or months of non-surgical treatment though a disc can sometimes be very debilitating. Surgical therapy can also help alleviate discomfort and disc pain if symptoms are not resolved.
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Nonsurgical Treatment of Herniated Discs
After the first injury, the doctor may recommend cold treatment and drugs.
- During the first 24 to 48 hours, cold treatment helps to reduce pain by decreasing blood flow, muscle soreness, and swelling. Never use ice or cold directly to skin; instead wrap item or the ice pack in a towel and then apply for more than 15 minutes.
- Medications may include an anti-inflammatory to lessen swelling, a muscle relaxant to calm anxiety, and a pain-killer to relieve intense but alleviate pain (severe pain).
- Mild to moderate pain may be treated with anti inflammatory anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These work by relieving pain and swelling.
Please discuss use with your physician.
- Usually heat treatment can be applied. Blood circulation increases to heat and relax soft tissues. Higher blood flow will help to flush out toxins that may accumulate in tissues as a consequence of muscle spasm and intervertebral disc injury. Never use heat directly to skin ( just like chilly); rather, wrap the heat source in a thick towel for no longer than 20 minutes.
Leg weakness is developing, or if leg pain is intense, the doctor may prescribe an anabolic steroid injection. Anti-inflammatory medication is put by an epidural steroid injection into the space near the nerves on your lumbar spine. Before beginning this therapy you need to discuss this option with your doctor and ask.
The doctor may recommend physical therapy. The doctor’s orders are transmitted to the physical therapist by prescription. Physical treatment includes a mixture of treatments to reduce pain and improve flexibility. Heat and ice therapy stretching, and grip are a few examples, but your therapist may work together to develop the best treatment plan for the pain and symptoms.
Surgical Treatment of a Lumbar Herniated Disc
If symptoms does not relieve spine surgery is known as. Persistent pain, leg fatigue, or lack of function requires additional evaluation. Rarely, does a lumbar herniated disc cause bowel/bladder incontinence or groin/genital numbness, which demands immediate medical attention.
In case surgery is recommended, constantly ask what outcomes you can expect and the goal of the surgery. You have to understand all details of what’s being advocated, and do not hesitate to get a second opinion. Surgery is a big decision, so you odn’t wish to rush in to it.
To alleviate nerve pressure and leg pain, surgery generally involves a discectomy (elimination of all or part of the intervertebral disc).
In addition, by removing some of the bone covering the nerve the surgeon may need to access the herniated disc. This procedure is called a laminotomy.
These processes can be done using minimally invasive methods. Minimally invasive spine surgery doesn’t require large incisions, but instead uses apparatus like endoscope and a microscope during the surgery and tiny specialized instruments and cuts.
Can You Prevent a Lumbar Herniated Disc?
Earlier we advised you that a cause of a lumbar disc is aging, and that can’t be avoided by us. Does that mean that you can not do anything to prevent a lumbar herniated disc?
Of course not. There are numerous factors which are also to take care of your spine, and within your hands, observe your posture, do not smoke, make healthy food choices, exercise, and use body mechanics, especially whenever you’re lifting something.
They’re usually healthy actions you can take to try and prevent lower back pain, although doing all of those things won’t ensure that you never get a lumbar herniated disc.
The scope of our information is limited to chiropractic and spinal injuries and conditions. To discuss options on the subject matter, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at 915-850-0900 .
By Dr. Alex Jimenez
Additional Topics: Sciatica
Lower back pain is one of the most commonly reported symptoms among the general population. Sciatica, is well-known group of symptoms, including lower back pain, numbness and tingling sensations, which often describe the source of an individual’s lumbar spine issues. Sciatica can be due to a variety of injuries and/or conditions, such as spinal misalignment, or subluxation, disc herniation and even spinal degeneration.
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The information herein on "Treatment Options for Herniated Discs | Sciatica Chiropractor" is not intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a qualified health care professional or licensed physician and is not medical advice. We encourage you to make healthcare decisions based on your research and partnership with a qualified healthcare professional.
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Dr. Alex Jimenez DC, MSACP, RN* CIFM*, IFMCP*, ATN*, CCST
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