Lower back disc pain diagnosis, symptoms and treatment options

Lower back disc pain originates in the lumbar spine. The lumbar spinal discs can be found in the five lumbar vertebrae (L1 to L5) and between the last lumbar vertebrae (L5) and the sacrum underneath it (S1). These soft, round cushions provide padding for vertebral bones and elasticity for the spinal column. If a disc in the lower back is injured, you may feel intense pain and stiffness that radiates from the lower back to the pelvis, thighs and feet. To learn about the diagnostic process as well as the symptoms and treatments for this condition, read the following article.

Getting a lower back pain diagnosis

Lower back disc pain can be treated in a variety of ways, but your first step should be to visit your doctor. He or she will likely ask you to describe your pain in as much detail as possible. Your doctor may also examine certain areas of the back to confirm that you’re experiencing disc pain in the lumbar region of the spine.

Questions your doctor may ask about your disc pain symptoms may include:

  • Have you experienced tingling in your lower back?
  • Have you felt pain that is localized in your lumbar region?
  • Have you felt lumbar disc pain that seems to begin in your lower back, but then shoots down through your buttock and leg on one side (sciatica)?
  • Have ever experienced numbness in your lower back?
  • Have you ever felt pain when you twist from side to side?
  • Have your leg muscles ever felt weak or unresponsive?
  • Have you ever bent forward or arched your back and felt as if you did not have the strength to return to an upright position?
  • Which daily activities are hardest for you to perform with your back disc pain?

Your answers to these questions will provide your doctor with a good sense of where your damaged disc condition is located. Additionally, your doctor probably will ask you to undergo imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan. This imagery often provides a clear view of which disc is out of place and which nerve root is being pinched.

Lower back pain treatment options

Once your doctor has confirmed a diagnosis, he or she will most likely start you on a nonsurgical treatment routine, which may include pain medication, epidural steroid injections or physical therapy. If your lower back disc pain has not responded to nonsurgical treatments, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how our minimally invasive procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open back surgery.^

Since 2005, our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures have helped more than 75,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain. Advantages of the procedures at Laser Spine Institute include:

  • Outpatient procedures
  • Smaller incision for minimal scar tissue
  • Faster recuperation time^ when compared to traditional open spine surgery
  • No overnight hospitalization
  • Board-certified surgeons¬+
  • Patient satisfaction score of 98^
  • Reduced risk of complications and infections^

Reach out to our dedicated team today to find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery. We can provide a free MRI review* and help you take the next step on your journey to pain relief.