A herniated disk is a common condition that can be painful and debilitating.
What is lumbar disk disease?
Click Image to Enlarge The vertebral column, or backbone, is made up of 33 vertebrae that are separated by spongy disks.
The spine is divided into 4 areas: The first 7 vertebrae, located in the neck Thoracic spine: The next 12 vertebrae, located in the chest area Lumbar spine: The next 5 vertebrae, located in the lower back Sacral spine: The lowest 5 vertebrae, located below the waist, also includes the 4 vertebrae that make up the tailbone coccyx The lumbar spine consists of 5 bony segments in the lower back area, which is where lumbar disk disease occurs.
With age, the intervertebral disk may lose fluid and become dried out. This may lead to the breakdown of the tough outer ring. This lets the nucleus, or the inside of the ring, to bulge out. This is called a bulging disk. Ruptured or herniated disk.
As the disk continues to break down, or with continued stress on the spine, the inner nucleus pulposus may actually rupture out from the annulus.
This is a ruptured, or herniated, disk. The fragments of disc material can then press on the nerve roots located just behind the disk space. This can cause pain, weakness, numbness, or changes in sensation.
Most disk herniations happen in the lower lumbar spine, especially between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae and between the fifth lumbar vertebra and the first sacral vertebra the L and L5-S1 levels. What causes lumbar disk disease?
Click Image to Enlarge Lumbar disk disease is caused by a change in the structure of the normal disk. Most of the time, disk disease happens as a result of aging and the normal break down that occurs within the disk.
Sometimes, severe injury can cause a normal disk to herniate. Injury may also cause an already herniated disk to worsen.
What are the risks for lumbar disk disease? Although age is the most common risk, physical inactivity can cause weak back and abdominal muscles, which may not support the spine properly. Back injuries also increase when people who are normally not physically active participate in overly strenuous activities.
Jobs that require heavy lifting and twisting of the spine can also cause back injuries. What are the symptoms of lumbar disk disease? The symptoms of lumbar disk disease vary depending on where the disk has herniated, and what nerve root it is pushing on.
These are the most common symptoms of lumbar disk disease: Intermittent or continuous back pain. This may be made worse by movement, coughing, sneezing, or standing for long periods of time Spasm of the back muscles Sciatica — pain that starts near the back or buttock and travels down the leg to the calf or into the foot Muscle weakness in the legs Numbness in the leg or foot Decreased reflexes at the knee or ankle Changes in bladder or bowel function The symptoms of lumbar disc disease may look like other conditions or medical problems.
Always see your healthcare provider for a diagnosis. How is lumbar disk disease diagnosed? In addition to a complete medical history and physical exam, you may have one or more of the following tests: A test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
Magnetic resonance imaging MRI. A procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
A procedure that uses dye injected into the spinal canal to make the structure clearly visible on X-rays. An imaging procedure that uses X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images often called slices of the body.
A CT scan shows detailed images of any part of the body, including the bones, muscles, fat, and organs. CT scans are more detailed than general X-rays.The most common cause of lumbar spinal stenosis is degenerative arthritis and degenerative disc disease. As with other joints in the body, arthritis commonly occurs in the spine as part of the normal aging process and as a result of osteoarthritis.
lumbar disc problems Summary The lumbar region of the human spine is a location that is very susceptible to injury and trauma. A majority of the population experience back pain at some time during their life, and although in most cases the pain subsides after a time of rest, there is an enormous need for treatment of this malady.
Degenerative disc disease is an age-related condition that happens when one or more of the discs between the vertebrae of the spinal column deteriorates or breaks down, leading to pain.
Free Essay: lumbar disc problems Summary The lumbar region of the human spine is a location that is very susceptible to injury and trauma.
A majority of the. A person with a herniated disc may be told by the doctor that degenerative disc disease led to the lumbar herniated disc. This term can be alarming and misleading. Degenerative disc disease is not a progressive disease per se, and it does not always cause chronic or persistent problems.
A herniated disk occurs when some of the soft interior slips out through a crack in the wall of the disk. This most commonly occurs in the low back but can also occur in the vertebrae of the neck.