Symptoms: Those who suffer from lumbar disc herniation usually experience back and leg pain, as well as muscle spasms in their lower back and leg. Other symptoms include muscle weakness, numbness and pins and needles in the thigh, leg and foot. Coughing, sneezing, slouching and bending can worsen the pain by compressing the discs in the spine. Many times temporary relief from the pain can be felt by bending backwards, bending forward, leaning into the pain or leaning towards the opposite side from the pain as this takes the pressure off the irritated discs.
Overview: Lumbar disc herniation is not as common as most people think—in fact only 5% of those who experience lower back pain do so from a herniated disc. Herniations most frequently occur on just one side of a disc so the pain is usually worse on the corresponding side of the back. If you suffer from lumbar disc herniation you might notice your posture becomes bent sideways and forward, or you bend your knees more often as these adjustments can relieve the pain in your legs.
Even though the pain of lumbar disc herniation is felt in one or both of your legs, the problem is in your lumbar spine. Your spine is made up of bones called vertebrae, and in the lumbar spine there are five of these vertebrae, one on top of each other. They move in unison. The intervertebral discs are soft, gel-filled “pads” that cushion and protect these vertebrae during movement. When these discs become herniated, the gel-like material bulges out into the spinal canal.
Inside the spinal canal is the spinal cord, which contains spinal nerves that exit between the vertebrae, branching out to the rest of the body. When herniated, the displaced gel compresses the spinal nerves which results in pain in the lower back and other areas where the nerves travel from the spinal cord. In severe cases, the displaced gel may compress the spinal cord itself, which can be serious.
Herniation usually is not the result of a single event but rather a result of steady abuse. Those whose work involves lots of twisting, bending, prolonged sitting or heavy lifting are at greater risk from the constant disc stress and wear and tear.
Although extreme cases of lumbar disc herniaton may require surgery, often surgery is not successful long term; less invasive treatment is usually sufficient. Dr. Suzan Starler, D.C. has worked with individuals suffering from disc herniations since 1993. In all that time, she has only needed to recommend surgery 5 times. Combining McKenzie Therapies, Quantum Neurology™ protocols, and the DRX9000 Spinal Decompression system provides relief from pain, and tools with which patients can then maintain their improvement. Often the type of pain experienced with this condition carries engenders a lot of fear and feelings of helplessness; this is not necessary! With proper treatment and patient education, Dr. Suzan gives your back back to you! Those who suffer from lumbar disc herniation should consult with Dr. Suzan immediately!