There Are Treatment Options for Lumbar Pain Caused By Degenerative Disorders
Lumbar pain can take a variety of forms, but an extremely common denominator for many lower back pain symptoms is a degenerative condition in the spine. Because the lumbar region is involved in so many of our body’s movements, from arching and bending to twisting and lifting, it is often the first region of the spine to grow weaker as we age. The lumbar spine is also supports more weight than the cervical (neck) and thoracic (middle back) regions, which also makes it especially prone to damage.
Our spinal column is made up of bony segments called vertebrae and between each vertebra is an intervertebral disc. These spongy, cartilaginous discs protect our vertebrae and lend flexibility to the back. A lifetime of wear and tear takes its toll on both the discs and the vertebrae, and can give rise to two common degenerative conditions that can cause lumbar pain:
- Degenerative Disc Disease—this is a condition involving the intervertebral discs. Over time, these discs lose elasticity, moisture, and structural integrity. They become prone to tearing (herniated discs) and protrusions (bulging discs). As these conditions occur, they can pinch the spinal nerves in the lower back and cause lumbar pain, such as sciatica, which is a sharp, radiating discomfort through the legs that is due to compression of the sciatic nerve.
- Facet Joint Disease—this is a condition that affects the facet joints, or the hinges that connect adjacent vertebrae. Healthy facet joints remain well-lubricated by synovial fluid and are covered in cartilage so that the spine’s movements are smooth. As we age, however, the cartilage begins to deteriorate and friction develops from bone rubbing against bone. Symptoms of facet disease include heated lumbar pain, swelling, and crepitus.
There are a variety of treatment options available for these conditions. After diagnosing your condition, a doctor will likely recommend a schedule of non-surgical treatments, such as prescription or over-the-counter pain medication, slow-release cortisone injections, or low-impact exercises like walking and swimming. If these therapies prove ineffective, you may want to consider a more targeted solution for your lumbar pain.
Laser Spine Institute (LSI) is at the forefront of endoscopic technology, which utilizes lasers to treat spinal conditions without the massive invasiveness of open spine operations. LSI’s minimally invasive, outpatient procedures offer a welcome alternative to the risks and lengthy recovery periods of traditional surgery.
Contact LSI today for more information about lumbar pain, or for a free review of your MRI or CT scan.