Lumbar disc extrusion symptoms overview

Lumbar extrusions are fairly common because the lower back bears the body’s weight and endures the daily stresses of bending, twisting and lifting. Many different situations can lead to a lumbar disc extrusion in the lumbar (lower back) region of the spine, including traumatic injury from a fall or car accident, carrying extra body weight and even smoking cigarettes. However, the primary cause is aging.

Each disc is flexible and saturated with water, but over time, they may dehydrate and lose strength. The surrounding vertebrae put constant pressure on all discs including on the weakened disc, which can cause the disc’s tough outer wall to tear and expose the disc’s central core. A disc extrusion occurs when the soft inner disc material seeps through the outer wall and into the spinal canal. Read on to learn about the symptoms of a lumbar disc extrusion and treatment options available that will help you find lasting relief.

Lumbar disc extrusion symptoms and conservative treatments

A lumbar disc extrusion may cause symptoms of pain, tingling, numbness and weakness in the lower back, buttocks and legs if the disc material compresses or irritates the spinal cord or a nearby nerve root, such as the sciatic nerve. This irritation may result in pain at the site of compression. If the spinal cord or nerve roots aren’t compressed, symptoms may never develop from a lumbar disc extrusion.

If you are experiencing pain from a disc extrusion in the lumbar region of the spine, your doctor may suggest a number of nonsurgical treatments including:

  • Muscle relaxants
  • Pain medications
  • Physical therapy
  • Chiropractic care
  • Acupuncture

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, or NSAIDs, along with epidural steroid injections, may also be suggested for reducing pain and inflammation in irritated tissues. Furthermore, your doctor might suggest low-impact exercises, such as walking and swimming, as well as strengthening exercises to develop stronger core muscles.

Minimally invasive treatment for a lumbar disc extrusion

Over time, conservative therapies may relieve symptoms from a disc extrusion, but not every condition is the same. If you’ve exhausted your nonsurgical options and are still dealing with symptoms of a lumbar disc extrusion or another spinal condition, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about how our minimally invasive spine surgery can help you.

Our board-certified surgeons+ perform a variety of minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures that can help treat neck and back pain without the highly invasive nature and increased risks of traditional open back surgery. By using muscle-sparing techniques and a less than 1-inch incision, our dedicated team is able to remove the portion of the lumbar disc that has extruded and is creating debilitating symptoms in your spine, in order to alleviate your discomfort.

At Laser Spine Institute, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from their chronic neck and back pain. Reach out to us for a no-cost MRI review* to find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures and take the next step toward pain relief.