One of the most common spinal conditions is lumbar disc herniation. Living with this condition can make it difficult to live an active and pain-free life. In this article, we will discuss lumbar disc herniation in more detail, including its causes, symptoms, and treatment options. We will also discuss epidural injections, a type of pain relief treatment that can be effective for lumbar disc herniation.
What is Lumbar Disc Herniation?
Lumbar disc herniation is a condition that affects the lumbar spine in the lower back. The soft, gel-like center of a spinal disc in the lumbar spine pushes out through a tear in the tough outer ring. This can put pressure on the surrounding nerves, causing pain, numbness, and weakness. As a result, lumbar disc herniation can make it difficult to do daily activities such as walking or standing.
This spinal condition is most often caused by the natural aging process. As we age, the discs in our spine become less flexible and more prone to tearing. It can also develop due to heavy lifting and repetitive movements that put stress on the spine.
The most common symptom of lumbar disc herniation is pain in the lower back. This pain may radiate down the leg into the buttocks, thigh, and calf. Other symptoms may include:
- Numbness or tingling in the leg or foot
- Muscle weakness in the leg
- Difficulty walking or standing
- Decreased reflexes in the knee or ankle
- Loss of bowel or bladder control
Most cases can be treated with non-surgical methods, such as rest, physical therapy, and medication. An epidural injection is one such treatment that your lumbar disc herniation doctor may recommend.
Epidural Injections for Lumbar Disc Herniation
Epidural injections are a type of pain relief treatment for lumbar disc herniation. It involves injecting a corticosteroid medication into the epidural space, which is the space around the spinal cord and nerves.
These injections can help reduce inflammation and swelling around the herniated disc. The corticosteroids used are anti-inflammatory, which means they can help reduce inflammation and pain. This can relieve pressure on the nerves and improve the quality of life for people with this condition.
Are Epidural Injections An Effective Treatment For You?
Epidural injections are generally considered to be an effective treatment for lumbar disc herniation. It has been known to provide significant pain relief and improve function in people with lumbar disc herniation.
Who Is a Good Candidate For Epidural Injections
People with lumbar disc herniation who have not responded well to other treatments, such as physical therapy and pain medication, can consider this treatment. It may also be a good option for those who are considering surgery but want to try a non-surgical treatment option first.
However, epidural injections can be risky for people with certain conditions. For example, if you have active infections or a bleeding disorder, you may need to consider alternative treatments. Other considerations include people with the following circumstances:
- Allergies to the medications used in the injection,
- Certain medical conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, and kidney disease,
- Severe lumbar disc herniation
The greatest benefit of epidural injections as a treatment for lumbar disc herniation is alleviating pain and inflammation. As a result, it can be easier to go through your day and enjoy simple activities. Ultimately, epidural injections can improve your function and decrease the need for further treatments such as surgery.
The Risks and Side Effects
While epidural injections are known to be effective, it is also important to consider the potential risks and side effects of this treatment. These can happen in rare cases, but they include:
- Nerve damage
- Back pain
- Nausea and vomiting
Talking With Your Lumbar Disc Herniation Doctor
Epidural injections can be a safe and effective treatment for lumbar disc herniation. However, it is not a cure. They can provide temporary relief from pain and inflammation. It is important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits before deciding if an epidural injection is right for you.
If you are considering epidural injections, do not hesitate to ask your lumbar disc herniation doctor further questions. Inquire about the procedure of the injections, what can you expect after an injection, and whether you are an ideal candidate for the treatment.
Lumbar Disc Herniation Doctor in Southeast Michigan
Lumbar disc herniation can be a painful condition to have. Fortunately, there are treatments that can help relieve pain and improve your quality of life. Epidural injections are one such treatment option. They are safe and effective for most people with lumbar disc herniation. However, it is important to weigh the risks and benefits of epidural injections before deciding if they are right for you. Talk to your lumbar disc herniation doctor to create a treatment plan that is best for you.
Looking for a lumbar disc herniation doctor? Our expert healthcare team at Ahlgren Spine Orthopaedic Surgery in Rochester Hills, Michigan provides medical services for various spinal conditions. We specialize in spinal conditions including lumbar disc herniation. Our friendly staff are happy to answer any questions when you call our office at (248) 215-8080. You can also book a consultation through our online appointment form. Visit us at a location convenient to you in Rochester Hills, Bad Axe, and Royal Oak.