Lumbar Herniated Disc: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

By avn
7:00 am Posted April 16, 2016
In Slipped Disc

Lumbar Herniated Disc: The intervertebral discs are the cushions that act as shock absorbers between each of the vertebral bones in your spine. There is one disc between each vertebra. Each disc has a strong outer ring of fibers called the annulus, and a soft, jelly-like center called the nucleus pulposus.

The annulus is the disc’s outer layer and the strongest area of the disc. The annulus is attached to two strong ligaments that connects each vertebra together in front and at the back. The mushy nucleus of the disc the nucleus pulposus serves as the main shock absorber.

With aging, as the disc degenerates, the outer layercracks down allowing the inner core to bulge out through the cracks in the outer portion of the disc, and this condition is known as a disc prolapse or a lumbar herniated disc or slipped disc.

The weak spot in the outer core of the intervertebral disc is directly near the spinal nerve root (the nerve that come out between each vertebra), so a herniation in this area puts direct pressure on the nerve.

The nerve runs through the leg, and any type of pressure in the nerves emerging from the lower spine can cause pain to radiate along the path of the nerve through the buttock and down the leg. This type of pain is also called sciatica or radiculopathy.

Causes of Lumbar Herniated Disc (or) Slipped Disc:

This can occur due to the below causes :

  • The disc tends to lose its water content and integrity with age. This leads to loss of elasticity.
  • Mechanical load can lead to tears on the discs that over time it worsens and tends to rupture.
  • Certain awkward motions can cause the disc to prolapse E.g. while twisting or turning to lift an object.
  • Lifting a very heavy or large object can place great strain on the back causing the disc to herniate.
  • Injuries resulting from a direct, forceful blow to the spine
  • Overweight individuals are at an increased risk of slipped discs since their discs have to support additional weight.
  • Weak muscles and a sedentary lifestyle may also contribute to disc herniation.
Lumbar Herniated Disc
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Lumbar Herniated Disc Symptoms

The symptoms of lumbar herniated disc or slipped disc may not include back pain at all! The symptoms of a herniated disc come from pressure on, and irritation of, the nerves. However, many people do have back pain because they have other problems in their back when the disc ruptures.

General symptoms typically include one or a combination of the following:

  • Leg pain (sciatica), which may occur with or without lower back pain. Typically the leg pain is worse than the lower back pain.
  • Numbness, weakness and/or tingling in the leg
  • Lower back pain and/or pain in the buttock
  • Loss of bladder or bowel control (rare), which may be an indication of a serious medical condition called cauda equina syndrome.

Where these symptoms occur depends on which nerve(s) has been affected in the lumbar spine. Therefore, the location of the symptoms helps determine your diagnosis. Knowing where the pain is perceived gives your doctor a better idea of which disc has probably ruptured.

Ayurvedic Treatment  for Lumbar Herniated Disc:

A combination of the following conservative treatment options can be used through at least the first six weeks of discomfort and pain:

  • Physical therapy, exercise and gentle stretching to help relieve pressure on the nerve root
  • Ice and heat therapy for pain relief
  • Manipulation and massage
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen, naproxen or COX-2 inhibitors for pain relief
  • Ayurvedic medicines and Oil application
  • Oral steroids to decrease inflammation for pain relief
  • Epidural injections to decrease inflammation and for pain relief
  • Ayurvedic therapies and medicines to restore normal functioning, getting rid of severe pain and avoiding surgery.

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