Low back pain is one of the most prevalent symptoms that lead people to seek diagnosis and treatment with a healthcare professional. When the individual’s low back pain is accompanied with pain in one or both legs or buttocks, resulting in symptoms similar to sciatica, it may be an indicator that the patient may have a lumbar disc herniation, also referred to as a herniated disc, ruptured disc, or slipped disc.
The lumbar spine consists of five vertebrae that extend through the length of the ribcage and pelvis. From top to bottom, these vertebrae are medically labeled L1 through L5 and they’re each separated by intervertebral discs. The discs are made up of a fibrous tissue known as the annulus with a soft nucleus found at the center of each disc. These discs are fundamental towards the proper function of the spine, performing the important roles of shock absorption and distribution of pressure.
In the instance the annulus becomes ruptured or torn, the nucleus can become separated from the disc. This complication can decrease the disc’s ability to properly separate the vertebrae, an issue which often leads to increased pressure due to the compression or impingement of the spinal nerves found between each vertebrae of the spine. Individuals with a lumbar disc herniation and symptoms of sciatica commonly experience pain and discomfort related to the pinching of the nerves, which can in turn radiate down the legs.
Generally, a herniated disc is caused by the natural degeneration of the body’s structures as we age. If not diagnosed or treated in time, however, this simple wear and tear complication can develop into a more serious injury or condition. In addition, intervertebral discs can also tear due to trauma from heavy lifting or as a result of a sudden injury, such as an automobile accident or a work injury.
A lumbar spine herniation can lead to a variety of symptoms, primarily characterized as sciatica. The spinal impingement of compression caused by the disorder can additionally lead to other complications along the lower extremities of the body. A spinal misalignment in the lower back can even cause issues relating to the reproductive system. In the case of a lumbar spine herniation, however, chiropractic care can help improve the condition and its symptoms, improving overall performance. For more information, please feel free to ask Dr. Jimenez or contact us at (915) 850-0900.