Lumbar Disc Protrusion – Definition, Causes & Treatment Options

What is Lumbar Disc Protrusion and How Can I Treat it?

A lumbar disc protrusion is a relatively common disc condition that can become quite painful.

Very often, traditional treatments help you get rid of the pain, at least for the moment.

This lens talks about the definition of a lumbar disc protrusion, to get more in-depth understanding of your back pain.

The Definition of Lumbar Disc Protrusion

The term “lumbar disc protrusion” can be explained by taking a separate look at the words it is made of:

  • Lumbar – This term comes from the Latin word “lumbus” and means “next to the lower back”
  • Disc – Of Greek origin: “diskos”, which means “disc” (I think this one’s clear…)
  • Protrusion – This one comes from the Latin term “protrudere” which stands for “pushing something through”.

So roughly, you have got a lumbar disc protrusion when one of your discs (the jelly-like thing that you have between each two of your back bones) from the lower back is somehow squeezed or pushed out of it’s natural position and touches a spinal nerve.

This can either happen…

  • (a) as a result of repeated strains and injuries of the same spot or
  • (b) as a consequence of a traumatic event.

Lumbar Disc Protrusion Treatment

A disc protrusion can go unnoticed in some cases, meaning the patient doesn’t feel any pain or discomfort. Unfortunately in most of the cases this is not the case, and the whole situation can become quite painful.

There are several treatment possibilities to relieve the acute pain: pain-killers, relaxants, anti inflammatory drugs, ice and heat packs, physiotherapy and even surgery. These methods, however, only help combat the symptoms, not the real root cause of the problem.

  • Drugs – Pain medication or muscle relaxants provide some temporary back pain relief but has many side-effects. Talk to your doctor and make sure you don’t take the drugs for too long time periods.
  • Exercise – Sitting too much in the same position leads to pressure on the lumbar discs which causes back pain. If you work in an office, make sure you get the opportunity to move. When at home, do some herniated disc exercises.
  • Massages – Due to their relaxing effect, massages can offer some temporary pain relief, but they are not suited to give lasting results
  • Physiotherapy – By helping you stretch and strengthen the muscles physiotherapy takes pressure away from the lumbar discs and makes your back more flexible and stable.
  • Acupuncture – Using thin needles to stimulate energy points in the body, acupuncture can help reduce the pain caused by a lumbar disc protrusion.
  • Spinal Decompression – This method helps taking the pressure from the disc by slowly separating the back bones and thus reducing the protrusion.
  • Surgery – This option should only be taken into consideration when all other treatment options have failed. A disc protrusion surgery is a very serious matter and it can go wrong.

But The Traditional Treatments Do Not Provide Lasting Results!

In order to get rid of the pain for good there has to be some more understanding of the underlying problem.

Each patient has a very specific and unique condition that has to be completely figured out so a targeted treatment can be started.


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