Our spine is a combination of vertebrae, joints, nerves, and disks which sit between the vertebrae and cushion our movement. The soft cartilage within these disks can rupture or herniate, irritating the surrounding nerves and causing pain. When this pain is located in the lower back, it is called lumbar disk disease.


You may not experience any pain with lumbar disk disease, or you could have severe discomfort. Most feel some level of pain in the neck, back, leg, or buttocks. Certain movements or activities can exacerbate this pain. You also may lose feeling (numbness) as a result of lumbar disk disease, or feel a tingling sensation.


To diagnose lumbar disk disease, your experienced provider will consult your family history and examine your back. They may also conduct neurological tests such as reflexes, stimulation, and strength activities. If further information is needed, your provider may request an X-ray, CT, or MRI scan.


Lumbar disk disease can generally be treated with medications, physical therapy, or steroids. If the nerve damage is more extensive or unresponsive to these treatments, surgery may be advised.

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