Lumbar discogenic disease

Lumbar discogenic disease refers to the gradual deterioration of the discs that separate the large vertebrae in the lumbar spine (lower back). This condition is a common source of lower back pain, particularly in older patients, and is often a result of the natural aging process of the spine.

The lumbar spine

The lumbar spine in the lower back is made of five (or sometimes six) vertebrae that are separated and cushioned by soft discs. These vertebrae bear the burden of supporting most of the upper body’s weight while still maintaining the body’s stability with every movement. This combination of stress and flexibility makes lower back pain extremely common in people of all ages.

Lumbar discogenic disease is a condition in which the discs in the lower back begin to thin and weaken as a result of years of wear and tear. As these discs weaken, the vertebrae lose their cushion and “shock absorbers,” which could lead to a loss of mobility as well as other symptoms.

Symptoms

Not everyone who has lumbar discogenic disease is aware of the condition. A degenerated disc or another form of disc damage isn’t necessarily symptomatic, but could be if disc material comes into contact with the disc’s outer wall, the spinal cord or one of the nerve roots in the spinal column. When this occurs, a number of symptoms can follow, including:

  • Local pain
  • Muscle weakness
  • Traveling pain
  • Sciatica

Treatment

In many cases, treatment of lumbar discogenic disease consists of conservative, nonsurgical options, such as:

  • Proper stretching
  • Targeted exercises
  • Pain medication, anti-inflammatories or muscle relaxants
  • Posture improvement
  • Healthy diet
  • Heat or ice therapy

Further treatment of lumbar discogenic disease is only recommended when several months of conservative treatment have not provided pain relief.

If you have exhausted all conservative treatment options and you are still suffering from discogenic pain in the lumbar spine, contact Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive spine surgery has helped more than 60,000 patients find relief from chronic neck and back pain, many of whom had a discogenic condition.

Patients choose our minimally invasive spine surgery over traditional open back surgery because our procedures offer a shorter recovery time§ and lower risk of complication. To treat a damaged disc in the spine, we offer minimally invasive decompression or minimally invasive stabilization surgery, depending on the severity of your condition. For many patients, a decompression procedure is the most appropriate treatment to relieve pressure form the disc on the pinched nerve, though some patients require the disc to be removed altogether and replaced with an artificial disc through a stabilization procedure.

To find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We will review your MRI report or CT scan and help guide you on your next step toward pain relief.