Herniated Disc Low Back

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A herniated disc (Fig.1), also identified as a bulging, ruptured or slipped disc results when the inner core of the disc protrudes into the spinal canal. Between each vertebra is a pair of spinal nerves (Fig.2) that travel to various muscles of the body. The protrusion of the inner core creates pressure on a spinal nerve which irritates the nerve and the area of the body served by that nerve.

Disc herniation may occur at any level of the spine; however the lumbar spine is the most common site of herniation with the articulations between the fourth and fifth lumbar (L-4, L-5) and fifth lumbar and first sacral vertebrae as the most common sites.
Symptoms Include:
  • Pain that radiates down the back of the leg.
  • Sharp, deep pain.

Non-surgical treatment

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs such as Ibuprofen, Motrin, Naprosyn and Celebrex may be used to decrease back pain.Be sure to talk to your doctor before starting these medications.
  • Rest, bed rest to reduce load on compressed nerve.
  • Rehabilitation to strengthen back and abdominal muscles.
  • Back brace (lumbosacral support) to support effected vertebrae.

Surgical treatment

  • Spinal fusion
  • Disc replacement surgery
Fig. 1
Fig. 2

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