LUMBAR DISC HERNIATION:
Diagnosed by an MRI with and or without contrast and current symptoms.
PROBLEM: A disc that has ruptured and is leaking out into the spinal canal that touches the spinal cord and/or the exiting nerve roots which will cause pain in the nerve distribution.
Lower back pain with pain in to the leg, traveling to the feet.
Other names: Herniated disc, Pinched nerve, Disc bulge, ruptured disc, Sciatica, Radicular pain.
Most common symptoms: Sharp pain from the buttock to the back of the leg and sometimes into the foot.
Patient can have different symptoms from the same problem but most have some similarities. Most patient can have pain from the buttock to the foot and in between. Some patients do NOT have any lower back pain.
Variations of symptoms may include:
- Lower back pain to buttock and beyond.
- Pain as above increased with some movement in lower back.
- Sharp pain in the buttock to the leg that is not affected (does not improve) with massage, exercise and over the counter medication.
- Weakness in the leg and or foot. (Ex: cannot lift up the foot when walking aka "drop foot".)
- Tingling or numbness in the lower extremity usually in the posterior calf or foot.
OTHER CONDITIONS THAT MIMIC A LUMBAR DISC HERNIATION:
Muscle "referred" pain.
DVT - Deep Vein Thrombosis
Other Nerve Entrapment conditions
Diabetes symptoms in the feet/leg
Neuropathy of feet
Neuroma of feet
Infection in the nerve usually of a viral origin
Benign tumor of the spinal nerve.
There are many types of treatment for a herniated disc. It usually depends not on your MRI findings but more on your symptoms. For example: If you have minimal pain in the leg or some numbness intermitently, a course of physical therapy and Chiropractic care along with home exercises may get you to symptom free in 2-4 weeks. More serious cases with weakness in the legs or constant pain could involve surgery to repair or replace the disc. Some examples of treatments are below:
1. Over the counter medication with exercise and rest.
2. Above plus Exercise and Chiropractic care treatment plan 6-24 visits.
3. Above plus decompression/traction therapy. (up to 20 sessions).
4. Above plus an Epidural Steroid Injection to affected disc. (Usually 1-3 injections per episode)
5. Above plus or with surgical intervention which may include a discectomy to full spinal fusion.
Please visit us at the office so we can help you with your current health problem. DON'T LET IT GO ANOTHER DAY.