The Lumbar Spine consist of 5 vertebrae numbered L1 - L5. Each Vertebrae is stacked on top of the other between each vertebrae is a gel like cushion called intervertebral disc. The disc helps to absorb pressure, distribute stress and keep the vertebrae from damaging. The vertebrate and disc are held together by group of ligaments. The ligaments and tendons helps to stabilize the spine and guard against excessive movements in any one direction. The spine also had joints like knees, elbows and other joints. The spinal joints are called Facet joints. The Facet joints helps to make the spine flexible and enable you to bend forward, backward side to side. The lumbar spine is designed to be incredibly strong, protective, the highly sensitive spinal cord and spinal nerve roots. At the same time it is highly flexible , providing mobility in many different planes including flexion, extension, side bending and rotation.
A prolapsed lumbar disc is a spine condition that can cause lower back pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness in the lower body. This condition can also be called a herniated or ruptured disc, and usually is caused by spinal overstrain, injuries, accidents, lifting heavy weight in wrong posture, Obesity, age-related deterioration etc. It can happen to people of all ages, but becomes more common after the age of 30. A prolapsed lumbar disc can occur anywhere in the lumbar (lower) region of the spine, especially the vertebrae at the base. Common levels of disc herniation occurs in L3-L4, L4-L5, L5-S1. The discs between these relatively flexible lumbar vertebrae are prone to issues like prolapse because the lower back supports much of the body’s weight and facilitates a fairly wide range of motion.Sciatic nerve is mostly affected by lower lumbar disc prolapse and the condition is called as sciatica.
Pain is considered chronic once it lasts for more than three months and exceeds the body’s natural healing process. Chronic pain in the low back often involves a disc problem, a joint problem, and/or an irritated nerve root. Common causes include: Lumbar Herniated disc, Degenerative disc disease, Vertebral Subluxation, Facet joint dysfunction, Sacroiliac joint dysfunction, Spinal stenosis, Spondylolisthesis, Osteoarthritis etc.
Lumbar radiculopathy is a symptom of nerve compression in which pain is caused in the lower back and hip radiating down the back of the thigh into the leg. Lumbar disc prolapse is the main reason for lumbar radiculopathy, mostly sciatic nerve is affected. It is caused by damage to one of the lower spine or disc ranging from L1 to L5. This damage is caused by compression of the nerve roots which exit the spine. The compression can lead to tingling, radiating pain, numbness, paraesthesia and occasional shooting pains. Lumbar (lower spine) radiculopathy usually causes more pain in the leg (below the knee) than in the back area.
The vertebral subluxation is the term applied to a vertebra which has lost its normal position and/or motion in relation to neighbouring vertebrae.Vertebral subluxation is a major reason for Lumbar disc prolapse.Vertebrae which do not function properly within the spinal framework generate mechanical stress. This accelerates the wear and tear on the surrounding spinal muscles, ligaments, discs, joint and other spinal tissues. Pain, tenderness, inflammation, decreased spinal mobility, and muscle spasm will eventually follow.
Lumbar Spondylosis is a condition associated with degenerative changes in the Intervertebral discs and facet joints. Spondylosis, also known as spinal osteoarthritis, can affect the lumbar, thoracic, and/or the cervical regions of the spine. . Lumbar spondylosis encompasses numerous associated pathologies including spinal stenosis, degenerative spondylolisthesis, osteoarthritis and many others. It also captures effects of aging, trauma and just the daily use of the intervertebral discs, the vertebrae, and the associated joints.
Frequent overuse of the back as seen during sports or other physically strenuous activity can put increased amounts of stress on the lumbar vertebrae, leading to injury.
The most common risk factor is being between the ages of 30 and 50.
Those genetically predisposed to weak bones and ligaments may be at increased risk for injury to the lumbar spine
Certain lifestyle habits affect the integrity of bones. Smoking, for example, decreases the amount of water in your discs, which are needed to absorb impact.
Jobs that require heavy lifting and other physical labor have been linked to a greater risk of developing a lumbar herniated disc.
Excess weight put extra load on the joints of the lumbar region, accelerating wear-and-tear of the lumbar joints.
Road Traffic Accidents
Frequent Two Wheeler Riding
Symptoms of a lumbar herniated disc vary widely—from moderate pain in the back and buttock to widespread numbness and weakness requiring immediate medical care.
Leg pain - If the pain radiates along the path of the large sciatic nerve in the back of the leg, it is referred to as sciatica or a radiculopathy.
Nerve pain in the leg, with the pain being described as searing, sharp, electric, radiating, or piercing.
Difficulty lifting the foot when walking or standing on the ball of the foot, a condition known as foot drop
Pain after prolonged sitting
Worsening pain after repeated movement