Injections Near The Spine
Injection therapy mainly uses local anesthetics and/or inflammation-reducing medications like steroids. These drugs are injected into the area immediately surrounding the affected nerve root. There are different ways of doing this:
- In lumbar spinal nerve analgesia, the medication is injected directly at the point where the nerve root leaves the spinal canal. This has a numbing effect on the nerve root.
- In lumbar epidural analgesia, the medication is injected into what is known as the epidural space . The epidural space surrounds the spinal cord and the spinal fluid in the spinal canal. This is also where the nerve roots are located. During this treatment the spine is monitored using computer tomography or x-rays to make sure that the injection is placed at exactly the right spot.
Injections close to the spine can have side effects such as bleeding, infection and nerve damage. A treatment involving injections over a longer period of time may also lead to muscle weakness and is associated with radiation exposure due to the use of x-rays. For this reason, only a limited number of injections may be given. It is important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of having multiple injections.
Studies on treatments with injections have shown that they are able to relieve sciatica for several weeks. People were able to move more easily while going about their day-to-day activities as a result. Steroid injections seem to be somewhat more effective than other types of injections.
Five Tips For Lumbar Herniated Disc Pain Relief
Aging along with continual wear and tear on our bodys natural shock absorbers can weaken the lower back. When spinal discs become damaged, intense back pain can occur that may radiate to nerves down the leg and foot. Herniated disc symptoms may appear for no apparent reason or can be caused by over exertion due to heavy lifting. When someone is experiencing pain from a lumbar herniated disc, the episode may be short lived or last up to six weeks, with the bodys natural defense systems going into action to resolve damage due to degenerative disc disease. During the episode, the pain can affect nearby nerves causing painful spasms in the lower body including the entire leg and foot. A numbness or weakness may be felt when standing. Herniated disc symptoms usually affect one side of the body. When the pain initially presents, the first 48 hours are generally the most intense.
At the onset, your physician may recommend more conservative methods for lumbar herniated disc pain relief, which include:
1) Pain medications, such as Ibuprofen or Naproxen may be recommended. Take these as directed for pain, tenderness, inflammation and joint pain. NSAIDS are not advised for people with longer-term lumbar problems related to surgery.
3) Muscle Relaxers to be taken on a short-term basis may be prescribed by your doctor. Some of the common ones are: Baclofen, Chlorzoxazone, Carisoprodol, Cyclobenzaprine, Dantrolene, Diazepam, and Metaxalone.
Treatment For A Herniated Disc L5/s1
So, when we talk about treatment for a herniated disc L5/S1, we need to split this category into two parts: Lifestyle and Exercise.
With a herniated disc L5/S1, treatment should always be guided by a qualified healthcare professional, due to the complexities of the injury. The following should not be taken as medical advice, rather as a rough guide to what I find has worked as the most effective treatment for a herniated disc L5/S1.
Read Also: Is A Hot Tub Good For Back Pain
Why Is A Herniated Disc L5/s1 So Common
We now know that the disc L5/S1 is the lowest disc in the spine. It sits at the junction between the lowest vertebrae and the sacrum.
Because of the way our spines are designed, they have special curves at the top, middle and bottom. When we walk and move, the areas that have a more dramatic curve tend to suffer from more stress than the areas that dont curve.
In addition to this, the discs that sit at a junction between two different types of vertebrae and lumbar and sacrum ) tend to suffer even more stress through normal movement.
We think of this as a minor fault in the way human spines are created unfortunately, there isnt much we can do about this design fault!
Anyway, the disc at L5/S1 is both at the point of a curve in the spine AND at the junction between two types of level. This places it at double the risk of the other vertebra and this is why a herniated disc L5/S1 is so common.
Movement Posture And Hydration
The reason movement and good posture are so important is because discs help to support the pressure of our body. If we dont move, the constant pressure pushes the nucleus of the disc against the outer wall and over time, weakens it.
The discs absorb water from their surroundings and if they are under constant pressure , they cannot absorb water. Without water, the discs lose some of their hydrostatic pressure and shock-absorbing properties. Additionally, as the discs lose water, the walls of the disc can dry out and weaken, making them less able to keep the nucleus inside, rather like the weakened walls of a dam which holds back water.
We constantly talk about posture with our patients.
Sitting and slouching squashes the life out of our discs. This is because if we slouch over we put a lot of pressure on the discs at the base of the spine.
When we slouch in one position, we squash the front side of the disc and the nucleus of the disc is pushed back hard against the rear of the disc. The front side can slowly dry out and weaken whilst the back side of the disc can weaken because it has the nucleus forced back against it for long periods.
Pressure can also be exerted on the body when the surrounding muscles are weak, meaning there is less support for the discs and they are squashed even more. The muscles in our back and our core muscles provide essential support to keep the spine supported and strong, which takes excess pressure off the discs.
You May Like: How Can I Alleviate Lower Back Pain
Uncommon Symptoms Of A Herniated Disc L5/s:
- Leg shaking/spasms: Often confused with sciatica, these spasms cause the muscles to tense up and go into spasm. The best way to deal with this symptom is through a short course of muscle relaxants.
- Problems with the Bladder and Bowel: This is an alarming symptom that needs addressing as quickly as possible by a doctor. This occurs when the nerves that allow the bladder and bowel to do their job are compressed by the herniated disc at L5/S1. If you suffer from incontinence , not being able to go or not being able to feel when your bladder/bowel are full, you need to speak to your doctor as soon as you can. If you cannot contact your doctor, a trip to the emergency room should be your next step.
- Numbness in the Private Areas : This is another symptom that needs immediate investigation. Again, this indicates the lower nerves are compressed to the point that they cant function properly. If this isnt fixed soon, you might end up with a permanent problem. Again, a trip to the emergency room should be your next step.
What Back Pain Treatment Options Are Available To Me How To Treat L4 L5 Back Pain
There are many methods for treating back pain at home, but only a few of these have been proven to be effective. The most common treatment is rest and applying ice to the painful area. This treatment is very relaxing and should be used for only 10-20 minutes. It should never be applied while you sleep. Also, exercise and stretching exercises are essential for keeping muscles and supporting tissues flexible. While some of these methods may not seem like they are effective for you, they can help you overcome your back pain.
Physical therapy is a good option for treating back pain. It will help you improve your posture and strengthen your core muscles. Massage therapy and acupuncture are other options for relieving tension and reducing joint pain. Some people also find that water therapy improves flexibility and balance, while yoga helps them heal faster from injuries. Proper nutrition and lifestyle changes are also important for treating back pain. It is very important to consult a physician if you are experiencing back pain because it will help you avoid more serious conditions later on.
What To Expect From A Herniated Disc L5/s1
When I worked in professional football, we would usually be able to tell the manager with reasonable accuracy exactly how long a player would be out for, depending on the injury he had.
For example, a mild ankle sprain would almost always be recovered by 3 weeks, while a hamstring injury might take 6 weeks.
However, with a herniated disc L5/S1, it isnt possible to accurately predict how long someone will suffer for.
Almost always, the healthier you are in general, the faster you will get better.
Age also plays a role people under 40 tend to recover a bit quicker than those over 40. However, other than that, herniated disc recovery time is difficult to predict.
As a general ball-park figure for you, most people SHOULD feel significantly better after 12 weeks following a herniated disc L5/S1.
However, many dont. And when youve been in pain for a long time, the body undergoes some changes which make recovery slower and more difficult.
Thats why ACTION is key when you make a commitment to getting better, and do all the right things each day, you can usually accelerate herniated disc recovery significantly.
On that note, my good friend, colleague and fellow international sciatica expert, Dean Volk, has a brand new sciatica relief video course available ideal for anyone suffering who wants to accelerate the healing of a L5-S1 herniated disc.
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:
X-ray. A test which uses invisible electromagnetic energy beams to produce images of internal tissues, bones, and organs onto film.
Magnetic resonance imaging . A procedure that uses a combination of large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of organs and structures within the body.
Myelogram. A procedure that uses dye injected into the spinal canal to make the structure clearly visible on X-rays.
Computed tomography scan . An imaging procedure that uses X-rays and computer technology to produce horizontal, or axial, images 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.
Electromyography . A test that measures muscle response or electrical activity in response to a nerves stimulation of the muscle.
Don’t Miss: What Can Make Your Lower Back Hurt
Why Is My Bulging Disc Pain Getting Worse
Last week, I had a patient in the office with a mild bulging disc in his lower back.
This patient could BARELY walk into the office, he was in so much pain. Climbing onto the chiropractic adjusting table was all that he could manage, although thankfully for him, after the chiropractic adjustment and treatment it was easier getting off.
Unfortunately, bulging discs and herniated discs are not something new for usin fact, we see this all the time in our chiropractic clinic.
Activate Your Transversus Abdominis
The transversus abdominis is a core muscle that lies deep within your abdomen. A 2018 study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that improving the activation of this muscle was associated with lower pain and better day-to-day function in patients with a lumbar disc herniation.
HOW TO DO IT: Lie on your back with your knees bent to a 90-degree angle. Without allowing your back or pelvis to move, draw in your abdominal muscles and hold the contraction for 10 seconds before relaxing again. Be sure not to hold your breath. Complete three sets of 10 repetitions.
Don’t Miss: What Can Back Pain Be A Symptom Of
Third Best Cream For Sciatica Pain Relief From Herniated Disc L5/s1 Fourfive Cbd Muscle Rub
I was never convinced by the CBD craze when it all began, but I am starting to see more compelling evidence for its use in some people, in some cases.
While I dont believe CBD to be magic, I do feel this product has potential to relieve some of the muscle pain experienced in the lower back for many people with sciatica.
That is why this product makes it onto the list of the best creams for sciatica pain relief from herniated disc L5/S1. Check out the reviews of this product they are really outstanding, with a perfect 5-star rating.
How Is A Diagnosis Made
When you first experience pain, consult your family doctor. Your doctor will take a complete medical history to understand your symptoms, any prior injuries or conditions, and determine if any lifestyle habits are causing the pain. Next a physical exam is performed to determine the source of the pain and test for any muscle weakness or numbness.
Your doctor may order one or more of the following imaging studies: X-ray, MRI scan, myelogram, CT scan, or EMG. Based on the results, you may be referred to a neurologist, orthopedist, or neurosurgeon for treatment.
Recommended Reading: Is Cycling Good For Lower Back Pain
Check Out This Video About Herniated Discs From Our Chiropractor Dr Oliver:
Other herniated disk treatment options include:
Rest often a couple of days of rest will help to calm severe pain caused by lumbar disc herniation. However, its important that you dont rest for longer than this as it can actually worsen pain and stiffness.
Anti-inflammatory medications medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen may help to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Physical therapy performing specific exercises to increase range of motion and strengthen muscles in your lower back and core may help to relieve pain and reduce your chance of re-injuring yourself.Spinal manipulation manipulation of the joints of the lower back may help to improve range of motion and decrease pain.
Massage therapy may help to increase blood circulation and relax muscles thereby helping to reduce pain.Epidural steroid injections injection of corticosteroids into the affected area may help to reduce local inflammation and relieve pain.
Prone Lying Prone Props And Press Ups
In the case of sudden onset of acute low back pain, you should try the emergency back pain exercises first. Lie on your stomach for a few minutes, then prop onto your elbows for a minute or two. Monitor your symptoms for centralization.
After a few minutes in the propped up position, try a few press ups. Try to keep your hips and back relaxed as you use your arms to press your upper body up. Try to press up as far as possible to restore the normal forward curve in your low back. Say to yourself, “Further, further, further” as you press up. Move your spine through the full, pain-free, range of motion. Perform 10 repetitions and monitor your symptoms.
If your pain does not fully centralize with the press up exercise, you may need to move on to the next exercise: the press ups with your hips off center.
Read Also: How To Heal Back Pain Naturally
Lumbar Pain Or Low Back Pain Is Alarmingly Commonand A Major Cause Of Lost Productivity And Activity Restriction So What Are The Causes Of Lumbar Pain And What Should You Do If Youre Suffering
The lumbar spine is strong and flexible but can become weakened by a wide variety of causes. Lumbar pain can arise from sprains and strains, disc problems, spinal stenosis, and osteoarthritis, among other factors.
ID 61376751 Juan Moyano | Dreamstime.com
Low back pain is extremely common and affects most people at some point in their lifetime. Estimates show that up to 36 percent of us will suffer from a new or recurrent episode of low back pain in a given year. Much of it originates in the lumbar area. If youve experienced lumbar pain, you know it can have a significant effect on quality of lifethe ability to work and participate in family and community routines.
Many environmental and personal factors influence your risk for developing lumbar pain. The incidence increases with age up to the age of 60, after which it declines.
What Is A Herniated Lumbar Disc
A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like center of your disc ruptures out through a tear in the tough disc wall .The gel material is irritating to your spinal nerves, causing something like a chemical irritation. The pain is a result of spinal nerve inflammation and swelling caused by the pressure of the herniated disc. Over time, the herniation tends to shrink and you may experience partial or complete pain relief. In most cases, if low back and/or leg pain is going to resolve it will do so in about 6 weeks.
Different terms may be used to describe a herniated disc. A bulging disc occurs when the disc annulus remains intact, but forms an outpouching that can press against the nerves. A true herniated disc occurs when the disc annulus cracks or ruptures, allowing the gel-filled center to squeeze out. Sometimes the herniation is so severe that a free fragment occurs, meaning a piece has broken completely free from the disc and is in the spinal canal.
Most herniated discs occur in the lumbar spine, where spinal nerves exit between the lumbar vertebrae, and then join together again to form the sciatic nerve, which runs down your leg.
Also Check: What Is An Epidural Injection For Back Pain