Your friendly Chiropractor in Chandler AZ, Dr. Dan Rae, is back at the computer this afternoon trying to get back into writing my blog posts. Today, I am going to address the Lumbar Disc Herniation. This is a topic that I have yet to write about, and in all reality I have no idea why I have not written about it because it is so common. We are constantly hearing about it on the radio have to do with pain injections or minimally invasive back surgeries. Hopefully today, I can provide some incite into all of this.
In the image above by MMG 2000, we are able to see the problems that can occur from a Herniated Disc pushing back and irritating the nerve roots. In the image below we can see different areas affected by a Lumbar Disc Herniation depending on the level of herniation in the spine.
In the past it was believed that all leg pain that radiated from the low back was due to compression of a nerve root by a Herniated Disc; however, the current belief is that the nerve root is inflamed, but not necessarily compressed. It is currently believed that the Herniated Disc material causes the release of irritating substances or initiated an autoimmune inflammatory reaction. With that being said, the disc, the corresponding inflamed nerve root, or the compression of the nerve root by the disc may be the source of the pain.
These individuals generally come into my office complaining of low back and leg pain below the knee. This usually is of sudden onset from a bending and/or twisting movement. It is very common for these individuals to have a history of multiple bouts of low back pain.
Management of this condition can be quite complicated based on what provokes the pain. There are times when bending forward at the waist makes the pain worse, and other times when it makes it better. The same goes for bending backwards. In any case, chiropractors have been proven through multiple studies to be the best source of treatment for this condition. There are multiple different chiropractic manipulative techniques that can be used based on specific patient needs. Surgery for this condition is very rarely ever needed, but there are times when I will co-manage the case with a pain management doctor to help my patients get out of pain initially so that I can work better with the patient. However, pain management alone is never a good option because the injections do not correct the problem.
If you are struggling with low back and leg pain, please call my office today (480) 366-4041. We can Help!