Treatment For Herniated Disc In Lower Back

One common medical condition in the lumbar spine is herniated disc. With herniated disc a tear in its outer layer (annulus fibrosus) lets its inner gel like material (nucleus pulposus) to leak out into the spinal canal. This disc material can compress a nerve root and as a result, the patient may experience weakness, numbness and pain in the area where the affected nerve runs through and the common site is the back of the leg. You might be surprise to be painless in the back since a herniated lumbar disc usually generates pain in the buttock and leg but not in the back. This pain is often referred to sciatica.

Most disc herniation occurs at L5 – S1 or L4-L5 and just about five percent of the case occurs at L3-L4. Disc herniation in other lumbar level is rare to occur.

There are a lot of treatment options for lumbar disc herniation. Treatment is categorized into two that is the non-surgical and surgical treatment.

Non-Surgical Treatment

The initial treatment for herniated lumbar disc is through conservative treatment or non-surgical. Fortunately majority of cases responds well with conservative treatment and allows patient to go back to its normal activity within four to six weeks. There are quite a number of non-surgical treatment modalities. A combination of this treatment works best like a combination of any of the following – bed rest, chiropractic care, physical therapy and medication (The Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine 2010).

For medication, muscle relaxants or analgesics can help relieve pain. But doctors commonly prescribed non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. It can lessen inflammation which may be the reason for pain in the nerve root. A good combination for medication is exercise. The right exercise can prevent back conditions and is often included in every treatment plan. A chiropractor or physical therapist can design an exercise plan that will best fit you.

Surgical Treatment

When conservative treatment fails to bring relief then surgery may be necessary. However, a careful evaluation should be done first before recommending a surgery. Surgery depends on various factors like the site of the herniation, how severe is the nerve compression, previous surgery if any and of course the severity of the condition. Most spine specialist uses the most advance technology and minimally invasive approach as much as possible.

Preventing such medical condition is possible. By maintaining flexibility and strength in the back, abdominal muscles and leg and staying in good shape always. Activities like swimming, jogging, biking or walking is recommended to keep your back fit and healthy. And finally always remember the right lifting techniques to prevent any back injuries.