One of the most common causes of low back and leg pain is a lumbar herniated disc. The spine is made up of bones (vertebrae) and discs (the shock-absorbers between the vertebrae). The disc is made up of cartilage type material with a jelly-like substance in the middle. The disc is surrounded by a thin fibrous material called the annulus. When there is unusual pressure exerted on the low back, the disc is also under pressure. When the pressure is too much, the disc can herniate- meaning the annulus tears, and the jelly-like material bulges out. The nerves that are nearby then become compressed and inflamed, resulting in low back and often leg pain.

One of the most common ways to herniated a lumbar disc is bending, twisting or lifting heavy objects. Shoveling heavy snow is a great way to herniate a disc.

 Symptoms of herniated lumbar disc include (but are not limited to) low back pain, pain that shoots down the buttock or leg, numbness or tingling in the leg or foot, and weakness in the leg or foot. If there is loss of control of the bowel or bladder, the person should go immediately to the Emergency room.

There are many treatments for herniated lumbar disc. The Neurosurgery Center of Colorado has providers who specialize in the evaluation and treatment of disc herniation and other spine problems.