A bulging disc in the spinal column can trigger a condition known as sciatica. Sciatica occurs when pressure is placed on the sciatic nerve, which runs from the lower back to the buttocks and down the back of each leg.
A bulging disc that triggers sciatica is located in the lumbar region, or lower back area, of the spinal column. The vertebrae in this region, which extends from the waist to the hips, are referred to as L1 to L5 (in some individuals, L6 exists, too).
The vertebrae in the lumbar region (and along the entire spinal column) are cushioned by intervertebral discs that act as shock absorbers. Sometimes, these discs degenerate or become damaged due to the normal process of aging or due to injury. When the discs are damaged, they can weaken and develop bulges. These bulges, or protrusions, can put pressure on spinal nerves, and this can result in pain and discomfort at the location of the bulging disc or in other parts of the body.
When a lumbar bulging disc puts pressure on the sciatic nerve, the pain and discomfort often travels, or radiates, from the lower back to the buttocks, the legs and even to the soles of the feet. That’s because the sciatic nerve is responsible for controlling the muscles in the back of the leg and sending signals of sensation to the buttocks, thighs, the lower leg, and the feet.
Traditionally, severe cases of sciatica have been relieved with open back surgery to remove the disc altogether. This type of surgery usually involves an extensive recovery period, as well as the risks that go along with hospitalization and surgery. But, Laser Spine Institute offers outpatient treatments to relieve your sciatica symptoms. Our minimally invasive bulging disc treatments include:
If your physician has confirmed that a bulging disc in your spinal canal is causing sciatica symptoms, then you may want to consult Laser Spine Institute before electing traditional open back surgery. Many patients are walking within hours of the treatment and quickly return to their normal activities. So, if you are experiencing sciatica and you’d like a treatment that is a more effective alternative to traditional open back surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today.