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Herniated Disc Lumbar Spine Animation

Herniated Disc in the Lumbar Spine

A lumbar disc herniation, or lumbar radiculopathy, occurs when a small portion of a disc ruptures and causes pressure on spinal nerves. Small herniations are sometimes called bulges or protrusions, and people experiencing pain from the herniation often describe it as a pinched nerve.

Lumbar disc herniation symptoms

In general, pressure on a spinal nerve from a lumbar herniation causes discomfort in one or both of the legs, frequently down to the ankle or foot. There can be shooting pains, weakness, and/or numbness. Pain in the leg is usually worse when sitting.

What causes lumbar disc herniation?

Lumbar disc herniations are most frequently caused by degeneration due to the normal aging process. As small tears in the disc’s outer layer develop and enlarge over time, the jellylike inner layer may bulge outward, causing pressure on the spinal cord and nerves. Occasionally, trauma or an episode of heavy lifting causes sudden rupture of the disc resulting in symptoms. Sudden twisting, such as when golfing, can also cause lumbar disc herniations.

What are the typical treatment options for lumbar disc herniation?

Lower back and leg pain from a disc herniation can often be resolved with medication and conservative therapies, such as therapeutic injection or working with a physical therapist. When these treatments are successful, leg pain tends to disappear first and it may take longer for weakness or numbness to improve. Doctors may recommend spine surgery for those whose symptoms do not improve in a short period of time.

Learn more about lumbar disc herniation today

If you're living with a herniated disc in the lumbar spine and are searching for relief, reach out to USA Spine Care for help. Our multidisciplinary team has years of experience helping people from all walks of life develop an individualized care plan to achieve lasting relief and a return to a regular activity level.

Contact us today to learn more. Call toll free 1-866-249-1627.

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