Lower back pain can be attributed to many causes, from muscle strain and arthritis to a herniated disc. Lumbar disc herniation occurs when part of the nucleus ruptures through the disc’s outer ring. Most often caused by age-related wear and tear, herniated lumbar discs can be exceedingly painful and interfere with the simplest tasks. Most herniated discs affect the lower spine, producing muscle spasms, intermittent or radiating pain, sciatica, and weakness in the legs.
Herniated lumbar discs affect 1 to 5 percent of the population annually. Whether you have been recently diagnosed or told you need surgery, a second opinion is always wise. You should never rush into a major medical decision, even if your doctor suggests minimally invasive spine surgery.
Conservative Treatment – The First Line of Therapy
Dr. David Barnett is a board-certified neurosurgeon who takes a conservative approach to spinal care. In most cases, herniated discs of the lower back will resolve on their own with non-surgical therapy.
For example, you have been experiencing severe back pain radiating into your leg with numbness, tingling, and weakness. It started several weeks ago, and you started taking Tylenol for the pain. However, the symptoms persisted, so you sought medical attention from a primary physician or your local ER. A lumbar MRI scan was ordered, and you have been diagnosed with a lumbar disc herniation. What are your next steps, according to
Dr. David Barnett? They are as follows:
My usual recommendation would be to start conservative treatment modalities through the help of your primary care physician. Conservative treatment falls into several basic categories, including medical treatment, medications, physical therapy, pain management with injections, and modifying your daily activities. Medications include different medicines such as those that reduce inflammation, including steroids, medicines that calm muscles down, such as muscle relaxers, and medicines that calm nerves down, such as Gabapentin. Physical therapy and chiropractic treatment may involve maneuvers to improve range of motion and improve muscle strength, electrical stimulation, lumbar decompression, and others.
When Is Lower Back Surgery Necessary?
If your symptoms persist or worsen and consistently impact your quality of life, you may need lower back surgery performed on an outpatient basis. Surgery for a herniated lumbar disc is a minimally invasive procedure with a high degree of success and a quick recovery.
The goal of lumbar microdiscectomy is to relieve pressure on the spinal nerves with the least amount of trauma or disruption of surrounding tissues. Using microscopic instruments, Dr. David Barnett is able to remove fragmented material that is compressing nerves. The procedure should improve sciatica, lower back pain and help patients regain their quality of life with minimal surgical risk or recovery time.
Herniated Disc Treatment In Dallas
If you have been diagnosed with a lumbar disc herniation or need a second opinion regarding treatment options, Dr. David Barnett believes an informed patient is an empowered one. Feel confident in your decisions and your health. Contact a Dallas neurosurgeon who has been in practice for over 26 years and focuses on a conservative approach to spinal care