Five symptoms of a degenerative spine in the lower back

Degenerative conditions affecting the lumbar spine (the lower back) are common because this portion of the back is responsible for lifting objects, twisting and bending over, all of which can place excess stress on the spine. There are five vertebrae in the lumbar spine, ranging from L1 to L5. These vertebrae are separated by spinal discs, which cushion and support the spine as it flexes and rotates. Over time, the spinal discs may weaken and even rupture, while the cartilage in spinal joints may begin to break down and cause the surrounding bones to rub against each other. Weakened spinal discs and joints can lead to a degenerative spine condition.

If you suspect that you might have a degenerative condition in your lower back, keep an eye out for the following five degenerative spine symptoms:

  1. Pain
  2. Tingling
  3. Numbness
  4. Muscle weakness
  5. Joint stiffness

The pain associated with a degenerative lumbar spine condition can be localized or radiating. Because the lumbar spine houses the sciatic nerve, pain may extend into the hips and legs. The pain associated with this condition may also tend to get worse when someone sits, twists, bends over or lifts a heavy object.

If you’ve been experiencing the above symptoms, you may want to consult with a physician to determine whether you have a degenerative spine condition in your lower back. In many cases, physicians will advise their patients to try a conservative treatment regimen before turning to surgery. Popular nonsurgical treatments for lower back pain include medication, heat/cold therapy and physical therapy. Patients who are unable to achieve relief from their symptoms using these methods or other conservative techniques may require surgery.

At Laser Spine Institute, our minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery is a clinically appropriate alternative and provides many advantages versus open neck or back surgery.^ Please contact us for more information. Our knowledgeable team can also provide you with additional information about our free MRI review,* which we can use to determine whether you might be a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures.