What is a Lumbar Disc Herniation?

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Lumbar disc herniation is an slipped or ruptured of the intervertebral disc that occurs in the lower or lumbar part of the back. It is one of the most common causes of lower back pain and leg pain (sciatica). Between 60% and 80% of individuals suffer lower back pain at some time in their lives. Although a disc herniation may sometimes be very painful, most people feel much better after a few weeks or months of non-surgical treatment.

Disc Hernation in first person

Professionals and patients explain how you live with the disease
The first line of treatment for this type of pathology should be conservative. Being conservative is fundamental, unless we are talking about a patient who already has a loss of strength, in other words, foot drop or sphincter trouble. In these cases, surgery is undoubtedly indicated.
When I was younger, I played a lot of sports, like basketball and tennis, and realise they are impact sports that promotes the development of the lesion. It was an evolution over several years until, in the end, the damage led to a slipped disc.

A disc herniation is produced in the lumbar area when an intervertebral disc degenerates and deteriorates and the internal nucleus leaks towards a weakened part situated in the area outside the disc.  

If the herniation is voluminous and compresses all the nerves around it, it can lead to a cauda equine or horse-tail syndrome, which is a surgical emergency. 

In the majority of cases, this pain lessens after a conservative treatment without surgery. However, surgery will be required by 10% of patients. 

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Substantiated information by:

José Poblete Carrizo
Salvador Fuster

Published: 29 October 2019
Updated: 29 October 2019

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