The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons explains that a herniated disc in the L5-S1 section of the spine consists of ruptured material between two vertebrae: the lumbar in the lower back and the sacrum in the pelvic area. This lumbosacral joint is most prone to injury because it bears the most weight, according to Spine Health.Know More
Vertebrae are bony structures that support the spine. They are separated by softer material in the form of discs that act as shock absorbers. When a disc ruptures, the jelly-like nucleus pushes against the outer-ring, called the annulus fibrosus, and causes inflammation and pain. Once the nucleus of the disc breaks through the outer-ring, the pain often lessens. However, if the disc material continues to irritate the sciatic nerve, the pain can persist. Although 60 to 80 percent of people experience lower-back pain at some point, most recover without surgery, notes the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.
Aging discs are more apt to become herniated, as they lose water content over time, and the space between the vertebrae shrinks. Other risk factors include lifting heavy objects improperly and repetitive actions that put strain on the lower back. Sitting for long periods of time, sedentary lifestyles and smoking are also associated with herniated discs, according to the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons.Learn more about Conditions & Diseases
A bulging disc is not the same thing as a herniated disc, according to DePuy Synthes Spine. With a bulging disc, the disc bulges out of the space it normally occupies. When a disc herniates, a crack develops on the outer layer of the disc.Full Answer >
Impingement of a nerve between the L5 and S1 vertebrae indicates the structure is placing pressure on the nerve root. According to the Laser Spine Institute, this is one of the most common of all pinched nerves.Full Answer >
For displaced vertebrae resulting from disc regeneration, lumbar traction provides consistent pain relief, decompresses joints and corrects the spine's alignment, states Healthline. Lumbar traction is nonsurgical, and there are no long-term risks, although some patients may experience pain and muscle spasms.Full Answer >
Bulging discs in the lumbar region are by far the most common type of bulging disc, and most heal on their own within six months as stated by the Laser Spine Institute. Only about 10 percent of cases produce severe, long-lasting pain that requires open-back surgery.Full Answer >