The spine is composed of several vertebrae, or bones, that are cushioned by small spongy discs. Healthy discs play an extremely important role in the overall health of the spine. They are responsible for keeping the spine flexible and also act as shock absorbers. However, when these discs are damaged, they may begin to protrude or even break open. This condition is what is known as a slipped, ruptured or herniated disc. While it is possible to have a herniated disc anywhere along the spine, most affect the lower back, also known as the lumbar spine.
There are many reasons discs can bulge or rupture, causing pain when the gel-like center touches a nerve. While the condition is most common in people who are in their 30s and 40s, older individuals are slightly higher at risk if they participate in strenuous activities. In addition to age, some other causes of lumbar disc herniation include:
Depending on your own response to pain, symptoms of lumbar disc herniation can vary greatly. Fortunately, the following symptoms are usually not long-lasting, even without treatment in some cases:
Within a span of four to six weeks, most patients will find that symptoms are relieved without resorting to surgery. However, spinal surgery may be considered if non-invasive treatment options have not provided a long-term solution. Elderly patients, even centenarians may qualify for spine surgery. With improvements in anesthesia techniques, we are now able to perform spine surgery using moderate sedation rather than general anesthesia. Our patients who might have weak hearts, poor lung function, diabetes, and kidney disease find this beneficial because they can look forward to faster recovery times, less pain medications and a lower risk of post-operative complications.
To help you recover from a lumbar disc herniation, you may find relief in the following ways:
While back pain is a relatively common experience, that doesn’t mean you have to live with it. There are a few different ways to treat the symptoms of lumbar disc herniation, including minimally invasive spine surgery. Be sure to always talk to your doctor before considering any surgical procedures.
Contact us today to learn more about lumbar disc herniation or to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists. We’ll find a solution that works for you! Call us at (601) 366-1011.