Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease

Degenerative disc disease of the lumbar segment or the lower back is a spinal disorder where the problematic disc causes the patient low back pain. Lumbar degeneration disc disease cause in actual sense is multifactorial as it can be caused by the wear and tear of the discs that is a natural procedure of aging or it may be caused by an injury or trauma to the lower back area of the spine.

However, the trauma or injury that causes disc degeneration is not due to a major injury but because of a low energy injury to the disc that progresses with time and age. Other causes of lumbar degenerative disc disease include inflammation and abnormal micro-motion instability.

Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease Symptoms

Lumbar degenerative disc diseaseThe main symptom of degenerative disc disease includes lower back pain that is low grade but continuous and may flare up occasionally. A patient diagnosed with lumbar degenerative disc disease will generally show symptoms that include:

  • Pain that is centered in the lumbar region which may radiate to the hips and legs
  • Lower back pain that lasts for more than six weeks
  • The pain caused by lumbar degenerative disc is not searing and burning but a low throbbing painful ache
  • The pain gets worse while doing activities like bending, twisting and lifting
  • Sometimes the pain gets worse when the patient is sitting
  • Numbness and tingling in the legs that even causes difficulty in walking

Lumbar Degenerative Disc Disease Treatments

Usually doctors initially try to treat this condition using non-surgical treatment methods like physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation, heat and ice therapy, medications as well as massage therapy. Lumbar spine surgery is only considered when the condition is extremely severe and is untreatable even with non-surgical options.

Lumbar surgery for this condition includes lumbar spinal fusion surgery, lumbar artificial disc replacement surgery and multi-level spinal fusion.