Lumbar Disc Herniation

Lumbar Disc Herniation

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What is Lumbar Disc Herniation?

It is a condition where the outer portion of the disc consisting of fibres (annulus fibrosis) is torn, allowing the inner portion consisting of jelly like material, water and collagen fibres (nucleus pulposus) to extrude through the fibres.

This extrusion may compress the nerves around the disc and create pain radiating into the lower back and legs.

In addition to direct tissue damage, there may be potential for chemical irritation from the release of inflammatory products and local swelling.

What are the symptoms of Lumbar Disc Herniation?

You usually experience:

  • Sudden onset of lower back pain with or without leg pain past the knee.
  • previous episodes of lower back pain.
  • Pain may be sharp, shooting or electrical.
  • Pain worsens with coughing, sneezing or straining.
  • Pain following heavy lifting, twisting, straining episodes or repetitive stress trauma.
  • Frequent episodes of lower back pain in the past that resolves. You may not recall an injury that caused.

What are the risk factors for lower back pain due to a Lumbar Disc Herniation?

These include:

  • Lack of exercise
  • Poor core body strength and weak abdominals
  • Tight Hamstrings
  • Anterior pelvic tilt
  • Increased lumbar lordosis or lower back curve
  • Poor nutrition and general health

Who usually experiences lower back pain caused by a Lumbar Disc Herniation?

Research shows:

  • Most commonly occur in 25-45 year olds, with the highest incidence rate reported in those 35-45 years old as the inner portion of the disc (nucleus pulposus) is most hydrated in this age group
  • Occurs more commonly in males than females

If I do experience lower back pain from a Lumbar Disc Herniation, what can I do?

  • Ice to the affected area. Click this link for duration

If you experience bowel or bladder changes, numbness, altered sensations around the saddle area, or are physically unable to move it is a medical emergency and you should seek immediate medical attention.

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