Lumbar disc pain may be one of the most frustrating health conditions that you’ll have to deal with. Not only can the symptoms of pain, tingling, weakness and loss of feeling in your lower body create debilitating discomfort, but you may also find that your quality of life decreases. If you can no longer pick up your children or grandchildren, go to the gym, play your weekly round of golf or reach the cereal bowls on the top shelf of the kitchen cabinet, it’s time to take a stand against your condition.
Disc pain in the lower back is all too common because your lower back supports most of the body’s weight. The lower back also experiences a lot of daily use as you sit, stand, walk, run, twist from side to side, bend forward and arch backwards.
Whether you realize it or not, you depend on the soft, supple discs in between your spine’s vertebrae to help your body bounce back from everyday movements like these. As you age, however, the discs between each vertebra begin to deteriorate. Some of your activities might damage your discs, too, such as standing all day at work, lifting heavy weights or not maintaining good posture.
One way to combat the frustration of lumbar disc pain is to understand both your condition and the treatment options available to you. The lumbar spine (lower back) contains five vertebrae, labeled L1 to L5. A disc exists between each of those vertebrae, and a disc also exists between L5 (the last lumbar vertebrae) and the fused sacrum below, S1. Lumbar discs that are deteriorating, bulging, breaking open or thinning can push out into the spinal canal where major nerve roots are in the lower back.
For example, the largest nerve in the body, the sciatic nerve, begins in the lumbar spine and runs through the buttocks, down each leg and into the feet. It is very common for disc bulging and herniation around the L4, L5 and S1 levels to press on the sciatic nerve and cause sciatica, which is probably the most excruciating type of lumbar disc pain you can experience. Sciatica pain may differ from one person to the next, but it is generally described as aching, burning or sharp pain that radiates from the lower back to the buttock, thigh, calf and foot on one side.
You do have options when it comes to treating lumbar disc pain. If you’ve tried all the conservative treatments that your physician has recommended, consider contacting Laser Spine Institute about our minimally invasive procedures that can remove errant disc material from the spinal column through a small incision. For more information about Laser Spine Institute and our outpatient treatments for lumbar disc pain, contact us today. We’ll provide you with a review your MRI or CT scan.