What is disc protrusion of the lumbar spine: how to treat, symptoms

The symptoms and treatment of disc protrusion of the lumbar spine

Protrusion is a disease associated with degenerative-dystrophic violation of the provisions of the intervertebral disc. This condition is accompanied by pain in the lumbar region and back.

The disease can develop in the setting of trauma or age-related changes. In the case when the nearby nerve is trapped, pain may be absent for a long time, so is not suspect having any violations.

It often happens that the protrusion causes the displacement of the vertebrae posteriorly, a mechanism called «retraites».

The spine hides the spinal cord and many nerve roots. In contact with protrusion in the area of spinal canal spinal cord and roots is over-pressure, which contributes to the characteristic symptoms.

That is the lumbar spine most exposed to the development of this pathology.

Stages of development disorders

There are several stages of disc protrusion of the lumbar spine, each of which has a specific clinical picture:

  1. Structural changes — there is a bulging disc. Purposee — deflected to the side and presses on the boundaries of the annulus. Because of this convexity is formed, and in some cases it reaches the half of the circumference of the disk. Can appear burning pain, similar to flash, but often this symptom is absent.
  2. Prolapse — keeps-fibrous ring, but is there an increase in the convexity of the pressure on the spine increases. The patient begins to experience discomfort, the pain feels aching and burning in the lumbar.
  3. Protrusion — annulus cannot cope with the load, so part of the nucleus pulposus beyond its borders. Having severe pain, hands and feet numb, edema of the tissues.

Due to the fact that at the beginning of the disease the pain usually are absent, the treatment begins at the more severe stages, when the situation becomes critical and requires serious intervention.

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The main cause of the disease — excessive strain on the lower back. Most often, the protrusion of the discs of the spine develops under the influence of several factors, including:

  • sedentary lifestyle;
  • physical inactivity or excessive load;
  • the metabolic disorder;
  • genetic predisposition (certain structure of the lumbar column);
  • underdeveloped muscular corset;
  • curved posture (scoliosis, kyphosis, lordosis);
  • back injury;
  • infectious disease;
  • osteochondrosis;
  • weight;
  • improper diet;
  • age-related changes in the body.

How it looks and what it feels

The symptoms in each case directly dependent on the cause and the stage in which the protrusion and can be the following:

  • stiffness in the lower back;
  • numbness of hands and feet;
  • intense back pain burning character;
  • sciatica;
  • reduced mobility of the affected area;
  • weakness in the muscles of the legs;
  • fatigue;
  • discomfort when going uphill, when bending the torso and seat;
  • disruption of the bladder (in some cases).
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The shape of the protrusion

There are several types of protrusions, each of which affects specific vertebrae:

  1. Central. Protrusion occurs near the spinal canal. These protrusions occur latently, and often do not require intervention.
  2. Side is localized on the right or left side of the spine, most often deforms roots in the spinal cord. This form occurs in 10% of patients.
  3. Posterolateral. This pathology is most common. Located behind and to the side of the spine. Pinching of nerve roots and other components of CM.
  4. Back. In this case the disc bulges from the abdomen to the back, disrupting the functions of organs of small pelvis.


The diagnosis is established using the procedures CT or MRI of the lumbar spine. In the images the doctor needs to determine the location of the protrusion and its dimensions.

Only after the received data it will be possible to choose the most effective therapies.

The whole complex of necessary measures

The sooner treatment begins, the more likely that it will be possible to get rid of the protrusion of spinal discs of the lumbar conservative way. Goals of therapy:

  • pain relief;
  • the elimination of the inflammatory process in tissues;
  • the relaxation of muscle spasms;
  • strengthening back muscles;
  • the recovery of the spine.

Conservative therapy

Treatment of protrusion of lumbar must be integrated:

  1. Drug therapy. Applied in the acute phase of illness. The effects of drugs aimed at relief of pain, inflammation and easing the pressure on the nerve roots. To do this, prescribers of such groups: analgesics, non-steroidal remedies, muscle relaxants, vitamin B. Sometimes to reduce irritation of a nerve root may require injections of anesthetic, cortisone or steroids. They act more slowly and can cause a painful reaction.
  2. Manual therapy. Massage should be done only specialist. At the beginning of therapy treatments should be more gentle in the future, the massage technique changes. In this case, it is very important to avoid impact on the patient’s back area.
  3. Traction of the spine. The purpose of the method — increase in the distance between the vertebrae and the reduction of compression of nerve roots. Systematic procedures to remove subluxation in the intervertebral joints and reduce pressure inside the discs.
  4. Laser therapy. Used to normalize the metabolism, ensuring saturation of the tissues in the affected area, improving the immune system, as well as biochemical processes in the body. This method has anti-inflammatory and analgesic effects.
  5. Magnetotherapy. Effective on all stages of the disease. Strengthens immunity and improves the circulatory system.
  6. Acupuncture. Used as an auxiliary method of therapy to alleviate pain. The treatment gives lasting results.
  7. Shock-wave therapy. Used as a preventive method. Contributes to improved posture, reduce pressure on nerve roots, toning and strengthening of muscles.
  8. Mud applications and baths. Reduce inflammation, normalize blood circulation, relax muscle spasms, promote tissue regeneration. The procedure is very effective in sexual dysfunction, as well as other complications of protrusion. In the period of acute pain use of an application is prohibited.
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Surgical treatment

Used in rare cases, because surgical intervention may result in negative consequence as a hernia and actually worsen the overall condition. Surgery is necessary in cases when:

  • in the first half — year after treatment with no positive results;
  • pathology is progressing rapidly, and the lesion spreads to healthy areas of the spine;
  • fibrous ring papachelas so much that there is a risk of total loss of capacity.

The operation is a partial or complete removal of the affected portion of the intervertebral disc and is held only at the last stage of the disease, when the protrusion is transformed into a hernia.

Protrusion of the lumbar spine may trigger the development of hernia in which zaselyalsya nerve endings, SEE. Hernia is fraught with dysfunction of pelvic organs and lumbago in the lower back.

In some cases, pain can be so unbearable that the patient can not move and sit. Can also develop paralysis of the lower limbs.

Complex physical therapy

Therapeutic exercise is an integral part of the treatment of the protrusion. Exercises contribute to the improvement of motor activity and relieve inflammation. The classes can be held either in a specialized school, and at home.

At the beginning of the therapeutic course load should be kept to a minimum, exercises should be performed in a lying position with pauses of several minutes between each.

To make sharp turns and inclinations is impossible. During class there should not be pain!

Exercises that are effective for protrusion of the lumbar spine and that you can do yourself at home:

  1. Lie on your back with stretched along the body hands and bend slightly at the knees. Then stretch the abdominal muscles, lower legs, relax and repeat the movement.
  2. To lie in the same position, but lifting slightly the upper part of the back, the legs should be bent. Slowly lower back to relax and repeat the movement.
  3. Lying on back with legs bent to pull the left hand and rest against the knee of the right leg, while providing maximum pressure. Then to change the pace.
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All exercises should be repeated at least 10 times.

Well, if the house has wall bars or horizontal bar, as the slack on these shells is very useful for the spine. Procedure can be performed several times a day for a few minutes.

It is desirable that the complex of exercises picked specialist given all the individual characteristics of the organism. In any case, no need to begin to engage in the early stages of protrusion, as it may lead to exacerbation and increased pain.

First is drug therapy, which allows to stop the outbreak, and then used all other methods of therapy.

Two complex physical therapy, which is highly effective for hernias and protrusion of the lumbar spine:

Features power mode

For patients with this disease needs proper nutrition. The purpose of the diet — the strengthening of the vertebrae and bones. To fill the shortage of calcium in the body to eat shown following products:

  • fish;
  • dairy products;
  • beef;
  • poultry meat;
  • vegetables.

For cartilage repair will be helpful foods containing gelatin:

  • jelly;
  • meat broth;
  • marmalade;
  • jelly;
  • algae.

Fried, spicy foods with spices and alcohol should be eliminated from your diet.

Preventive approach

After one treatment it is very important to comply with preventive measures that allow to maintain health of the intervertebral discs:

  • together with your doctor to find a «useful» sport that will not exert harmful effects on the spine (e.g. heavy lifting to do when the protrusion is contraindicated);
  • take daily walks on foot;
  • to monitor your posture, walk with raised head and straight back;
  • try not to slouch, sitting on a chair to lean on the backrest;
  • use mattress;
  • do not carry weights in one hand;
  • to get rid of bad habits;
  • to follow excess weight.

Protrusion in the beginning of the disease may be asymptomatic, and in the meantime the pathological processes will progress, and ultimately, the discomfort and severe pain that stifle the movement, it will bring the patient a lot of discomfort and significantly reduces quality of life.

The forecast is favorable if treatment begins as early as possible. Ignoring back pain can lead to very sad consequences, therefore, if you notice any signs of illness should immediately seek medical help.