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Have lower back pain, scan shows disc bulge. Treatment?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 2000
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hi I have had lower back pain and had a scan today which says early compromise of the right l5 nerve root in the foramen due to disc bulge, just wondering what the treatment for this is....I find it hard to sit down

Posted Sat, 25 Aug 2012 in Back Pain
Answered by Dr. Sudhir 3 minutes later

Thanks for the question.

From details provided and MRI findings its obvious that you have radiculopathy due to pinched nerve. The treatment vary from conservative to surgery.

Conservative treatment include anti-inflammatory medications, physical therapy or chiropractic treatment, and avoiding activity that strains the neck or back. The majority of radiculopathy patients respond well to this conservative treatment, and symptoms often improve within six weeks to three months.

If patients do not improve with the treatments listed above they may benefit from an epidural steroid injection. With the help of an X-ray machine, a physician injects steroid medication between the bones of the spine adjacent to the involved nerves. This can help to rapidly reduce the inflammation and irritation of the nerve and help reduce the symptoms of radiculopathy.

In some cases the symptoms continue despite all of the above treatment options. If this occurs and the symptoms are severe, surgery may be an option. The goal of the surgery is to remove the compression from the affected nerve. Depending on the cause of the radiculopathy, this can be done by a laminectomy or a discectomy. A laminectomy removes a small portion of the bone covering the nerve to allow it to have additional space. A discectomy removes the portion of the disk that has herniated out and is compressing a nerve.

I would suggest you to see a spine specialist who will take into account severity of your symptoms and MRI findings to guide about the treatment.

Please ask, if I have left any of your query unanswered or if there are any doubts.

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