The vertebrae that form the spine are cushioned by small, spongy discs that act as shock absorbers and keep the spine flexible. When a disc in the lumbar spine (lower back) is damaged, it may bulge or tear. This is called a slipped disc and is also known as a herniated disc or ruptured disc.

A lumbar slipped disc may be caused by a number of factors, such as:

  • The natural aging process which results in wear and tear on the discs and makes them more susceptible to rupture
  • A sudden fall or a forceful blow to the spine, such as a motor vehicle accident
  • Repetitive bending and twisting motions that may cause a series of small tears to develop in a disc’s outer wall
  • Genetic factors, such as a family history of disc herniation and other degenerative spine conditions

Individuals with a lumbar slipped disc often experience discomfort in the lower back, pain in one or both legs, weakness or tingling in the lower extremities, and diminished reflexes and muscle spasms.

The spine specialists at Lancaster Orthopedic Group provide comprehensive services for all musculoskeletal conditions, including ruptured or herniated discs, and offer treatment options that are designed to relieve pain and get you back to the activities you enjoy.

In most cases, a lumbar slipped disc can be treated without surgery. Many patients benefit from conservative treatment, such as rest, ice, anti-inflammatory and pain medications, muscle relaxants, spinal injections, braces to support the spine, and physical therapy. If the problem persists, surgery may be recommended.