Lumbar Disc Herniation Symptoms & Treatment

This patient presented with extreme lower back pain and sciatica. She also had numbness and tingling in her right foot. Her MRI revealed a disc herniation at L5/S1. This was a posterior disc bulge and caused extreme discomfort bending forward. As she would flex forward, the disc would protrude out the back into the spinal canal where the spinal cord is. Her lower back forward flexion was severely limited because of this. She could not sit of stand for long periods of time or exercise the way she wanted to. Depression was setting in as she started to gain excess weight because of her limited activity.

Patients with herniated discs can experience these signs and symptoms:

  • Debilitating Pain
  • Lower Back Pain
  • Leg Pain
  • Foot Pain
  • Radiating Leg Pain
  • Electric Shock Pain
  • Burning
  • Numbness
  • Tingling
  • Weakness
  • Loss of Reflexes
  • Foot Drop
  • Calf Pain
  • Muscle Fatigue
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Muscle Cramping
  • Loss of Bowel or Bladder Function

Herniated Disc Treatment

This patient will be treated with flexion distraction therapy that will pump fluid into the discs and allow them to heal at an accelerated rate. This is done using a specialized table that passively flexes and extends the lower back in all ranges of motion.

During the initial treatment, the patient noted that her foot numbness and tingling was already diminishing during flexion distraction therapy.

She will also be treated using Drop Technique and Gonstead Technique. Both are Chiropractic Adjusting techniques focused on restoring proper motion to the spinal column and decreasing pressure on spinal nerves. These treatment areas are determined through MRI and palpation of the segments that are fixated.

Along with aforementioned treatment, this patient will receive therapeutic exercises to encourage lower back stability and hip mobility. These exercises focus on opening the hip joints in all directions and strengthening the gluteus muscles. We will also be doing spinal traction of the lower back to relieve stress on the discs and encourage motion.

Our goal early for this patient is to greatly reduce her pain in the first couple of weeks. Our attention will then focus on regaining functionality and getting her back to a life in full motion.