ABOUT Lumbar Disk Disease - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
What Is Lumbar Disk Disease?
Lumbar disk disease, or a lumbar disk herniation, is the invasion of a portion of one or more of the disks in your spine into another nerve. This causes disc degeneration and compression which can lead to pain and other issues. Common areas for herniations are in the lower back area just below your kidneys.
Herniations can also occur in small areas near your inner ear which cause ringing in the ears (tinnitus). When you feel pain, press on these areas with your thumb to see if it alleviates any discomfort.
There is often more than one lumbar disk in the L5-S1 region. If any of these disks bulge out and can be felt through your skin, you likely have lumbar disc disease.
Lumbar Disk Herniation Causes
The following issues can cause a bulging disk:
· Previous injury to the area (e.g., fracture, surgery)
· Congenital (present at birth and present in some people) discs with age-related degeneration or fissure
· More severe degeneration of the surrounding muscles which compresses the discs and causes them to bulge outward (e.g. osteoarthritis)
· Infection in the region
· Malformation of the spine (e.g., intervertebral disc displacement) where the bones can move out of place and cause a bulge
Symptoms of Lumbar Disk Disease
The symptoms of lumbar disk problems are usually due to disc damage or degeneration that occurs in your lower back area. The first symptom is usually both sharp and stabbing pain that radiates into your legs, hips, buttocks, and other areas.
The pain can be severe enough to wake you up at night or bring you to tears. If the pain becomes more severe, it can cause you to have difficulty walking or standing up.
The pain frequently comes on so quickly that you are caught off guard. It may feel like an electric shock through your back, hip, or leg area.
You might shake or shiver during the attack due to spasms that occur in your back muscles.
The pain is usually improved with rest and not getting up immediately after being injured. Sitting still usually helps until it begins to hurt again.
Over time the pain may become less frequent but last longer at a time when it occurs (e.g., lasts for days instead of hours).
Treatment of Lumbar Disk Disease
Treatment for lumbar disk herniation depends on the location of the bulging disk, the severity of the back pain, and your age.
· If you feel a bulge in your lower back but near your lungs, you may have an intervertebral disc bulge between your second and third lumbar vertebrae. This type of herniation can be treated with physical therapy or medication to relieve pain.
· If you are experiencing sharp shooting pain down one side of the lower part of the body, you are probably experiencing a cauda equina syndrome since it is located in this area. This type of problem cannot be treated surgically but can be helped with medications or physical therapy.
Frequently Asked Questions on Lumbar Disk Disease
What Is Lumbar Disk Disease?
Lumbar means about the fourth lumbar vertebra; it is the lower back. Disk means that there is a disk between each vertebra. The disk is usually used as a type of soft tissue that acts as a cushion between each bone in your spine.
What Is Its Cause?
Lumbar disc disease, or just the lumbar disk, refers to a problem with the disks in your lower back. When you have this problem it can cause pain and other issues. The pain can radiate from your lower back to other areas such as your hips, legs, feet, etc.