L5 S1 Disc Protrusion—Causes and Treatment of Back Pain Caused by a Slipped/Herniated Disc (2022)

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L5 S1 Disc Protrusion—Causes and Treatment of Back Pain Caused by a Slipped/Herniated Disc (1)

L5 S1 Disc Protrusion and Pain

Do you have pain in your lower back? If you are older or engage in strenuous activity, it could be caused by a protruding disc, also known as a herniated, slipped, or bulging disc. The L5 S1 disc, in particular, is the most fragile and susceptible to protrusion since it often carries more weight than the other lumbar discs. (L5 is medical shorthand for the fifth vertebrae in the lumbar, or the lower part of the spine, and S1 denotes the first vertebrae in the sacrum. The L5 S1 disc is sandwiched between these two vertebrae). A protrusion is the most common cause of lower back pain.

It is very important to take care of an L5 S1 disc protrusion as soon as you find out about it. Not only will the pain become worse and worse without treatment, but a disc protrusion is often just the preliminary phase of a more severe disc disease.

L5 S1 Disc Protrusion—Causes and Treatment of Back Pain Caused by a Slipped/Herniated Disc (2)

Disc Protrusion Definition—What Is a Disc Protrusion?

Your back consists of a column of individual bones, or vertebrae, separated by small cushions known as discs. These discs serve as shock-absorbing pads and are located between each vertebra.

When a disc is strained beyond its limit, the outer casing may bulge or rupture. The jelly-like inner substance can squeeze out to the side and touch or put pressure on one of the spinal nerves. This is commonly called a disc protrusion, also known as a herniated, slipped, or ruptured disc.

L5 S1 Disc Protrusion—Causes and Treatment of Back Pain Caused by a Slipped/Herniated Disc (3)

Symptoms of L5 S1 Disc Protrusion

The pressure on the lumbar spine nerves mentioned above causes pain that can be felt all the way down to the back of the leg. Most back pain does not need medical attention, but if you have back pain that includes weakness down the leg or changes in your bowel or bladder function, go see your doctor.

Symptoms of a disc protrusion include:

  • Pain caused by movement
  • Tenderness
  • Numbness or tingling
  • Weakness down the leg
  • Changes in bowel or bladder function
  • Changes in reflexes
L5 S1 Disc Protrusion—Causes and Treatment of Back Pain Caused by a Slipped/Herniated Disc (4)

L5 S1 Disc Protrusion Treatment

Depending on the pain level of your L5 S1, a number of treatment options can give you some (at least temporary) relief:

  • Physiotherapy—Physiotherapists can help you stretch and strengthen muscles in your back. This can stabilize your back and lessen the pressure (and thus, the pain).
  • Stand Up and Move—Sitting for long periods of time puts pressure on the L5 S1 disc. If you work in an office, make sure you frequently stand up to walk around. When at home, do some appropriate (i.e. non-strenuous) physical exercises or yoga poses.
  • Massages—Massage therapy should only be used in addition to other methods. Massages can relax muscles, releasing some of the acute pain, but they do not bring lasting results.
  • Acupuncture—This is a scientifically accepted, very old alternative treatment method using thin needles to stimulate energy points in the body. Acupuncture is a very good option to release the pain temporarily.
  • Medication—Pain medication or muscle relaxants can relieve the pain for the moment. But be aware that such medicine has many side effects. It is imperative to first speak to your physician; you could overdose on or become addicted to pain medication, and over long time periods, it can lose effectiveness. For less side effects try a gentle all natural anti-inflammatory.
  • Cortisone Injections—Also known as epidural steroid injections, cortisone shots contain a local anaesthetic and steroids. The local anaesthetic lasts for about 12 hours, while the steroid helps decrease the nerve irritation and usually starts working a day or two after the injection. This method is often ineffective in relieving pain, and should only be taken at the recommendation of your doctor.
  • Spinal Decompression—This method uses technology to enlarge the space between the discs by slowly separating the back bones. You go to the doctor's office for between 20 and 30 sessions, during which you are fitted with one harness around your pelvis and another around your trunk. You then lie on a computer-controlled table, and the machine helps take the pressure off of the disc, pulling it back in place and thus reducing the protrusion. The same effect can be achieved at home using an inversion table.
  • Surgery—This option should only be considered when all other treatment options have failed. Disc protrusion surgery is a very serious matter and carries certain risks. If you have exhausted other treatments, consult several doctors and read all you can about the procedure. Be well informed and confident that you are doing the right thing.

The First Step

No matter what, if you feel pain in your back accompanied by tingling and weakness in your leg or changes in your bowel and bladder functions, call a doctor. All of the steps described here should only be taken in conjunction with medical advice.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.


AMAR JEET on July 14, 2019:

(Video) Low Back Pain - Disc Herniation ,Sciatica - Everything You Need To Know - Dr. Nabil Ebraheim

diffuse disc bulge is also noted at L5-S1 level causing bitateral recesses narrowing.

Munnemma ragipati on November 12, 2018:

Hi ,

Severe posterocentral protrusion of l4-5 disc noted causing severe spinal canal narrowing with compression on cauda equina and moderate bilateral neural foramen narrowing .

Mild moderate bilateral neural foramen narrowing is noted at l3-4 and l5-s1 levels.

Alignment of spine is normal.

Pedicles laminae and spinous provesse are normal.

Facet joints shows age related degenerative changes.

Visualized spinal cord and conus medullaris sre normal.

Both psoas muscles are normal.

Both sacroillac joints are normal.

Both sacroiliac joints are unremarkable.

Saguttal t2 images of dorsal spine show no significant spinal canal narrowing.

Above are the findings from mri scanning and we have consulted doctor.he suggested to do surgery..please check this and suggest us.it would be very helpful to us we are scared to do this surgery. Please kindly suggest us.

sting on August 16, 2018:

I am sting ..and a government employee..i have also pain of l5 s1 about 4 months.i feel pain in my low back and right leg too..kindly advice me some better therapies or other treatment.

Edith Williams on April 01, 2018:

very helpful information. thank you

Vaibhav on March 12, 2018:

MRI Findings

No lumbarisation/sacralisation is noted.Mild straightening of the lumbar lordotic curvature.Mild posterior disc bulge is seen at L5-S1causing indentation of thecal sac without spinal canal stenosis.There is no narrowing of bilatera lateral recesses and neural faramina.

How serious is the problem and can i stand for 5hrs a day for practical twice a week and 7 hrs class sitting or will it deteriot my condition and how much bed rest i need.Can i do physio exercise with mild pain or not.


Waiting for reply

kausar on January 29, 2018:

my MRI study shows loss of normal lumbar lordosis.the signal from the marrow of the visualized vertebrate shows diffuse fatty marrow changes. modics type IIchanges are seen in the opposing endplates of L5 &S1.L5-S1 intervertebral disc shows disc desiccation and annular tear.there is diffuse disc extrusion which along with thick ligamentum flavum indents on the thecal sac posteriorly, narrowing bilateral lateral canal and neural foramina( more on right)encroaching upon traversing nerve roots at this level (more on right). facetal arthropathy is seen at L5- S1 level.kindly suggest.

Md Asif ALi on September 18, 2017:


(Video) Low Back Pain , Disc Herniation - Everything You Need To Know - Dr. Nabil Ebraheim

I am Asif and my MRI report as follows.........

Flattened lumbar curve. Minimal retrolisthesis of L5 over S1 vertebrae. Mild diffuse annular bulge of L4-5 disc with small annular tear mildly compressing ventral & ventrolateral aspects of thecal sac and exiting nerve roots at both sides. Mild posterior bulge of L5-S1 disc mildly indenting exiting nerve roots. No significant bulge or

protrusion at other discs. Normal appearance of the facet joints. Normal thickness of ligamentum flavum. Normal appearance of conus medullaris & vertebral bone marrow. No bony spinal canal stenosis. No pre or para spinal lesions. CONCLUSION: Flattened lumbar curve...muscle spasm. Mild diffuse annular bulge of L4-5 disc with small annular tear mildly compressing ventral & ventrolateral aspects of thecal sac and exiting nerve roots at both sides. Mild posterior bulge of L5-S1 disc mildly indenting exiting nerve roots.

kindly advice me some better therapies or other treatment.

Maggie on June 22, 2017:

My child cracked her vertebrae l5 to s1 in December.she is recently suffering from very weak legs.

faheem on June 13, 2017:


I am faheem ..and by profession i m a soldier..i have also pain of l5 s1 about 4 months.i feel pain in my low back and right leg too..kindly advice me some better therapies or other treatment.

Terrill on June 08, 2017:

Hello my L5 disc is almost completely gone, I can't bend down to pick anything up or lay flat in my bed or set for a while without having lower pack pain, sometime the pain runs to my growing area and Feet

Mohd.ikrar on May 27, 2017:

I am suffering from 5yrs s5l1 bulge so not relief many doctors advice

Mira on May 25, 2017:

After reading this page it give me more knowledge know about l5

sachin on March 03, 2017:

L5 S1 Disc Sequestration- one of reasons is improper and stressful life and Gym in such situations or Traumatic incidents. The weight you carry, 70% is taken by your muscles and only 30% by bones. With Stress and physical weight, your nerves go weaker and needs to be managed well. And if sequestration is more, the disc semi liquid may fall on your leg nerves, which will carry pain to your left or right leg creating numbness or tingling sensation.

Above article explains very well, how we need to manage in this situation. Along with that i have a few answers here:

1. Take proper rest everyday and if pain is unbearable take complete bed rest (approx 3–4 weeks, till you feel better) . Pain killers initially is fine, but don’t continue for long, as it may damage internal organs.

Drink lot of fluids(water) to reduce gastric issues.

2. Go for physiotherapy, till the pain is relieved and you understand what exercises is suitable for your body to subside the pain. Here exercises mean not lifting weights or crunches etc.(**Please avoid gym** for at-least a year or more)


3. Keep doing yoga or back stretching exercises as suggested by physiotherapist. Therapies like** IFT and Ultrasound help to relieve strain**.

4. light weight oil massage on back will help gain temporary relief. Don’t put heavy pressure, it may generate strain.

5. Don’t sit for long hours, keep walking(but avoid walking on roads, use footpath). Right Sitting postures should be learnt. your legs should be leant forward when sitting and dont cross the legs.

**6. Morning sunlight act as building block, expose at-least 60% of your body to morning sunlight for half an hour(mainly the back portion)

7. Eat a lot of proteins rich food like Almonds, eggs, fish etc. It will help build muscles, but yoga and exercises are important.

Note: Your whole body goes weaker with spine related injury, take each physical action with care.

(Video) My Story of Lower Back Pain (L5-S1 Disc Bulge) and Top 5 Recommendations

mary kerry on February 20, 2017:

I was considering a Incrediwear back brace for my L5 disc protrusion while waiting for surgery, do you think the brace would ease the constant pain?

sarada khanal on February 12, 2017:

i am just 22 year girls.my m.r.i report noted disc bulge at c4-c5,c5-c6,l4-l5 and l5-s1 levels. how can i get relief from its pain? treatment? physiotherapy is not working. it have not any medication to cure? can i hope for my healthy future?

rinoguy2@yahoo.com on February 08, 2017:

My s1 is shot minimal cushion. Pain is awful. I'm in Healthcare I know what excessive pain is. I've already had 2 surgeries. A microdiscectomy and a fusion. Plus 16 esi injections and my 2nd ablation is in a few weeks. The pain is a10 out of 10 right now.

Rinoguy2 on February 07, 2017:

My s1 has little or no cushion. I'm getting another bilateral transforaminal facet injection. Then an ablation. I'm concerned my s1 has little or no cushion. I'm thinking pain pump cause surgery is complicated according to my Surgeon. Help

James Rinaldi on January 15, 2017:

My l5 S1 has little or no cushion remaining, the pain is constant,i stretch and walk each day, I'm trying to lose 30 pounds to relieve some if the pressure in my spine,this is difficult to achieve especially in the winter months, I'm scheduling a bilateral injection then an ablation,thus is my last hope, 2 surgeries in and I'm against further surgeries since it would be tricky and the pain is excruciating no matter what meds I was given, any comments is appreciated. Ty..

NITIN RAWAL on December 08, 2016:

There is a place in rajasthan. Where the treatment is very effective because I got recover back. that place is degana, village -pindiya, person name- bhawar singh.

I think he is a master of treating back problems.

DeWalterWhite on November 14, 2016:

20-30 decompression sessions !!!! Yikes !!!! That's $25 co-pay per session for me.

sanjay mohapatro on October 05, 2016:

i am sanjay mohapatra, by profession i am a storekeeper & me also suffering in LS-S1 disc.from last two months i have back pain.My problem is as follows.

Diffuse bulge with right paracentral protrusion of L5-S1 IV disc compressing thecal sac contents & mild right neural foraminal narrowing.So please advice me for permanent tratment.

p-w on September 03, 2016:

I had a herniated disc, not sure which L number it was but I had surgery to get a Wallis device fitted. Instant relief, no more back pain or sciatica.

Before the surgery I tried physio techniques and acupuncture. All short term fixes used with medication to mitigate the pain but never dealing with the issue.

The Wallis device has gave me 10 of being relatively pain free, however, running, sports, any kind of squats, stomach crunches are out the question so in the 10 years since it was fitted I've piled on 40 lbs and pain is returning with sciatica in the opposite leg.

It's one of a few interspinous devices and not all are perfect but worth looking into.

koosha on August 27, 2016:

Thanks a lot for your informative information. It was so useful. But are there any ways to take it back to its primary condition ? without protrusion

ma on August 26, 2016:

thank you everyone for sharing your experience. it really helped me today to get through the morning pain. What I've learned from you is to stay positive and disciplined in doing the exercises, walking through the pain, and lead a healthy lifestyle. i know i can do it and get through this just like you did.

jason1234 on August 14, 2016:

(Video) L4 L5 - L5 S1 disc bulge best exercise rehabilitation for pain relief

I have all these symptoms from the bowel problems to the weakness of my left leg. I have had these symptoms for almost 5 years now and it's gotten a lot worse in the last year I have a Dr appointment this month and I have no idea how to talk to my Dr about this. Any help would be a great help.

jitender on January 24, 2016:

We should get MRI if pain occurs more than two times.

doz on December 15, 2015:

i suffered a major extrusion where my disk tore 17mm and the nucleus stuff squeezed out and bulged out 12 mm. I used a chiropractor twice a week for 3 months before i could go back to work. it will be a slow process of heeling because discs have no blood supply only through walking alot, heat packs and chiropractic can you speed up the heeling process. Physiotherapy was only helpful through educated stretching the muscles 3-4 times a day around the area to keep the joint mobile. It took 5 months for me until the pinch came off my left leg. Avoid sitting down and try to remain standing up or laying down to rest every now and then to give the disk a rest. It takes alot of patience and not bending or lifting things. Dont opt to get surgery unless a 6 months goes by with no improvement because if you can heel the disc after 14 months i had no symptoms and i recovered and had no symptoms at all to remind me that i had done it. surgery should be your last option because if you fuse your spine it will later on cause trouble with the discs above and wear out your spine quicker due to the joints needing to work harder to make up for the movement and cushioning you lost from the fusion.

prasad ankalam on September 26, 2015:

My daughter is 6 yrs old she is suffering from mild diffuse poterior bulge of L5-S1 disc

Guy on September 23, 2015:

From what I have read and understand, most l5 s1 herniations will heal IN TIME. I have read some people taking up to 18 months to get back to where they were and there is a good chance you will not ever be back at 100% but most as I understand get to 90%.

All we can do is physio/walk, treat your body with a lot of care as it is healing. I am 3 weeks out from a severe l5 s1 herniation impinging on my siatic nerve causing numbness and some loss of strength in my calf, outer foot and sole. In 3 weeks, just now I can start to barely move my little toe.

It's a long road and with physio, both at home and in setting, healthy diet and lifestyle as well as a little luck, we may get back to where we were or very close to it BUT it may take a year.

Look at little things, positive changes as progress and build off that positivity. Mind set is crucial in recovery IMO.

Good Luck to everyone!

Preeti on September 10, 2015:

I am suffering from L5S1 Central disc protrusion . Shown to many doctors and physio & still there is no improvement.

Pl advise whether it will recover or not

Ishi on March 04, 2015:

I have see several docs and am at a loss. I have herniated disc l5-S1 and have had 2 months of physocal therphy and no relief. I am saddened by the whole medical practice

uttam singh on December 21, 2014:

i am suffring fm difuse disc buldge with l5 s1 the recory is possible or not

sarah-derosa-5 on October 26, 2013:

My L5 is pushed forward. How do I treat it? What can be done? it is also cracked on the side

priyankaroyidol on June 28, 2013:

Thanks for the knowledge sharing post. I loved reading this lens.

A Spinal disc herniation is a medical condition affecting the spine in which a tear in the outer, fibrous ring of an intervertebral disc allows the soft, central portion to bulge out beyond the damaged outer rings.The majority of spinal disc herniation cases occur in lumbar region (95% in L4-L5 or L5-S1). The second most common site is the cervical region (C5-C6, C6-C7). The thoracic region accounts for only 0.15% to 4.0% of cases.

imagelist lm on December 23, 2012:

A really helpful lens...


How is L5-S1 disc protrusion treated? ›

Treatment of L5-S1 usually begins with: Medication. Over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are usually tried first for pain stemming from L5-S1. For more severe pain, prescription medication, such as opioids, tramadol, and/or corticosteroids may be used.

How serious is a L5-S1 disc herniation? ›

A herniated L5-S1 disc can press and impinge nerves and the spinal cord. This compression can lead to discomfort, aches, and pains in the back, buttocks, hips, thighs, legs feet, or toes. It may also cause numbness, tingling, and weakness in the thighs, legs, knees, ankles, feet, or toes.

How fast can you recover from a herniated intervertebral disc at vertebral level L5-S1? ›

Although none of these therapies are foolproof, chiropractors and physical therapists often recommend them to patients before the final resort of surgery. The typical recovery time for an L5-S1 disc bulge ranges from four to six weeks or so.

What should I avoid with a L5-S1 herniated disc? ›

Avoid the following exercises:
  • Sit-Ups. Sit-ups are difficult to perform correctly and are not recommended for those with a herniated disc due to the pressure that is put on the lower back. ...
  • Squats. ...
  • Cycling. ...
  • Standing Hamstring Stretch. ...
  • Deadlifts. ...
  • High Impact Aerobic Activity. ...
  • Leg Press. ...
  • Straight Leg Raises.
24 May 2022

What are the symptoms of L5-S1 nerve damage? ›

Common Symptoms and Signs Stemming from L5-S1
  • Pain, generally felt as a sharp, shooting, and/or searing feeling in the buttock, thigh, leg, foot, and/or toes.
  • Numbness in the foot and/or toes.
  • Weakness in the leg and/or foot muscles and an inability to lift the foot off the floor (foot drop)

How serious is a disc protrusion? ›

If you have seen your doctor about back pain, you may have heard the term “disc protrusion” at one time or another. While it sounds like a serious and scary condition, it is actually very treatable and typically gets better in several weeks. It is similar to a disc herniation, or a herniated disc.

What nerves does L5-S1 affect? ›

We think that large, extruded L5-S1 disc herniations may affect the superior hypogastric plexus or pre-sacral nerve which is situated anterior to the last lumbar vertebra, the middle sacral artery, the lumbosacral intervertebral disc.

What are the symptoms of a herniated disc at L5-S1? ›

The most common levels for a herniated disc are L4-5 and L5-S1. The onset of symptoms is characterized by a sharp, burning, stabbing pain radiating down the posterior or lateral aspect of the leg, to below the knee. Pain is generally superficial and localized, and is often associated with numbness or tingling.

Why is L5-S1 so common? ›

Over time, the discs in the spine undergo wear and tear due to repetitive movements. This process is absolutely normal and is a part of aging and happens with everyone. L5-S1 bulging discs are most common as they take the stress and weight of the body.

How do you sit with a L5-S1 herniated disc? ›

A standing desk is a great option, but if you must sit, rest your spine firmly against the chair back, sit up straight, and don't slouch (which strains the spinal ligaments and aggravates a herniated disc). Your knees should be level with your hips, or slightly above the hips if you're seated at a desk.

Is walking good for L5-S1 herniated disc? ›

Daily walks are an excellent way to exercise with a herniated disc, without putting additional strain on your spine and causing painful symptoms to flare up.

What is the success rate of l5 S1 surgery? ›

Consider the following results: In one study 53 patients were followed for an average of 20 months after fusion surgery. In those patients with normal MRIs prior to surgery, only 50 % were improved after surgery.

How long does l5 S1 surgery take? ›

The graft is inserted between the vertebrae and then rods and screws are placed. The bone from the hip often is removed through the same incision leaving the patient with only one incision postoperatively. Surgery will last approximately 4 to 8 hours.

When should surgery be considered for herniated disc? ›

Your doctor might recommend surgery as an option for your herniated disc if: Your symptoms have lasted at least 6 weeks and make it hard to do your normal activities, and other treatments haven't helped. You need to get better quickly because of your job or to get back to your other activities as soon as possible.

Which nerve root is most affected in L5 S1 disc prolapse? ›

Since most disc herniations occur posterolaterally, the root that gets compressed is actually the root that exits the foramen below the herniated disc. So, a disc protrusion at L4/L5 will compress the L5 root, and a protrusion at L5/S1 will compress the S1 root.

What makes a slipped disc worse? ›

The pain from a herniated disc usually is worse when you are active and gets better when you are resting. Coughing, sneezing, sitting, driving, and bending forward may make the pain worse. The pain gets worse when you make these movements because there is more pressure on the nerve.

What activities make a herniated disc worse? ›

Everyday Activities to Avoid with Herniated Disc
  • Sitting too much. Sitting puts more stress on your spinal discs, especially when slouching forward in a seat. ...
  • Doing laundry. ...
  • Vacuuming. ...
  • Feeding a pet. ...
  • Strenuous exercise. ...
  • Shoveling snow or gardening. ...
  • Learn more:

Where does L5 S1 cause pain? ›

A herniated disc at lumbar segment 5 and sacral segment 1 (L5-S1) usually causes S1 nerve impingement. In addition to sciatica, this type of herniated disc can lead to weakness when standing on the toes. Numbness and pain can radiate down into the sole of the foot and the outside of the foot.

What does a neurosurgeon do for herniated disc? ›

An incision is placed in the lower back over the area where the disc is herniated. Some bone from the back of the spine may be removed to gain access to the area where the disc is located. Typically, the herniated part of the disc and any extra loose pieces of disc are removed from the disc space.

Is disc protrusion worse than herniated disc? ›

Compared with a bulging disk, a herniated disk is more likely to cause pain because it generally protrudes farther and is more likely to irritate nerve roots. The irritation can be from compression of the nerve or, much more commonly, the herniation causes a painful inflammation of the nerve root.

What can be done for disc protrusion? ›

Conservative disc protrusion treatment methods are often quite effective and typically include massage, bed rest, physical therapy and pain medications.

Do you need surgery for a protruding disc? ›

Fortunately, the majority of herniated discs do not require surgery. With time, the symptoms of sciatica/radiculopathy improve in approximately 9 out of 10 people. The time to improve varies, ranging from a few days to a few weeks.

Does L5 S1 affect bowel problems? ›

Rule out spine issues

Nonetheless, another study noted that L5/S1 herniation can lead to "bowel dysfunction."

What movement is most limited at L5 S1? ›

The anterior band of the iliolumbar ligament is a well-developed, broad band. The iliolumbar ligaments play an important role in the stability of the lumbosacral junction by restricting both side flexion and rotational movement at the L5–S1 joint and forward sliding of L5 on the sacrum[2].

What percentage of herniated discs require surgery? ›

According to research cited by Harvard Health, about 10 percent of patients with herniated disc issues require surgery after six weeks. Similar research suggests that 90 percent of the time, surgery is not necessary for a herniated disc.

Does sitting make a slipped disc worse? ›

Sitting for long periods is not advised if you suffer from a herniated disc. It places more stress on your spinal discs, worsening the pain. You can maintain comfort by regularly moving around or standing up from your seat.

How should I sleep with l5 s1 pain? ›

With this condition, it may be preferable to sleep on the sides with the knees curled up (in the fetal position). This helps relieve pressure on the nerve root. Sleeping in a reclining chair or an adjustable bed that allows the head and knees to remain elevated can also relieve pressure on the nerve.

Can a chiropractor help with l5 s1 herniated disc? ›

Conclusions: Chiropractic distraction manipulation is an effective treatment of lumbar disk herniation, if the chiropractor is observant during its administration for patient tolerance to manipulation under distraction and any signs of neurological deficit demanding other types of care.

Can stretching make herniated disc worse? ›

Stretching is actually one of the best ways to minimize and prevent ongoing leg pain from a herniated disc. Hamstring stretching can help decrease the tension across your lower back, and this provides the herniated disc with a better environment to heal.

Is it better to rest or exercise a herniated disc? ›

A doctor will usually recommend a few days of rest after experiencing a herniated disk. Doing gentle activities and exercises will strengthen the muscles that support the spine and reduce pressure on the spinal column.

How long is bed rest for herniated disc? ›

Rest. Most often 1-2 days of strict bed rest will calm severe back pain. Bed rest should not exceed 48 hours. Once you are back into your daily routine, you should take frequent rest breaks throughout the day- but avoid sitting for long periods of time.

What are the side effects of l5 S1 surgery? ›

Like all surgical procedures, lumbar decompression surgery carries some risk of complications.
  • Recurrent or continuing symptoms. ...
  • Infection. ...
  • Blood clots. ...
  • Dural tear. ...
  • Leakage of cerebrospinal fluid. ...
  • Facial sores and loss of vision. ...
  • Nerve injury and paralysis. ...
  • Death.

How long do you stay in the hospital after bulging disc surgery? ›

A hospital stay of between 2 and 4 days is typical.

How painful is disc surgery? ›

Is a microdiscectomy painful? Following surgery, most patients do well with a small amount of non-opioid pain medication and a drug that relaxes the muscles. While there is some discomfort associated with the surgical incision, many patients experience rapid relief of the pain caused by the herniated disc.

Is L5 S1 surgery outpatient? ›

Because of the minimally invasive nature of the procedure, it is typically done on an outpatient basis. The incision for each tube is only a few millimeters long, and because they are small they are associated with minimal incisional pain.

Is L5 S1 a single level fusion? ›

Fusion of only one motion segment of the spine (e.g. L5-S1) is referred to as a single level fusion. Multilevel spinal fusion refers to fusion of more than one spinal disc level (e.g. L3-L4 and L4-L5 fusions). When a multilevel spinal fusion is performed, it is almost always on contiguous spinal levels.

How long is the hospital stay after lower back surgery? ›

On the day of your back surgery, your main objective will be to rest. While some patients are discharged on the day of their operation, most stay in the hospital for one to five days. You will be able to go home once you have good control of your pain and are able to walk, eat and use the restroom independently.

When is L5 S1 surgery necessary? ›

Conditions affecting the L5-S1 spinal motion segment are usually treated with nonsurgical methods. If the lower back and/or leg symptoms worsen or do not improve despite these treatments, or in case of certain medical emergencies, such as tumors or cauda equina syndrome, surgery may be recommended.

Whats the longest a herniated disc can last? ›

The average amount of time it takes for a herniated disk to heal is four to six weeks, but it can get better within a few days depending on how severe the herniation was and where it occurred. The biggest factor in healing a herniated disk is time, because most often it will resolve on its own.

Who is a good candidate for herniated disc surgery? ›

Your doctor may decide you are a good candidate for herniated disc surgery if: Nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy, anti-inflammatory medications, or injected steroids haven't provided adequate pain relief within six weeks or longer. You have problems with walking and performing other daily tasks.

What is the treatment for disc protrusion? ›

In nearly all cases, surgeons can remove just the protruding portion of the disk. Rarely, the entire disk must be removed. In these cases, the vertebrae might need to be fused with a bone graft. To allow the process of bone fusion, which takes months, metal hardware is placed in the spine to provide spinal stability.

What is the best treatment for a protruding disc? ›

Treatment with rest, pain medication, spinal injections, and physical therapy is the first step to recovery. Most people improve in 6 weeks and return to normal activity. If symptoms continue, surgery may be recommended.

Does a disc protrusion require surgery? ›

Fortunately, the majority of herniated discs do not require surgery. With time, the symptoms of sciatica/radiculopathy improve in approximately 9 out of 10 people. The time to improve varies, ranging from a few days to a few weeks.

Can a protruding disc be fixed without surgery? ›

The good news is that the vast majority of herniated discs can be treated without surgery using manual therapy and exercise or with IDD Therapy disc treatment. It is only a small percentage of cases which go on to have surgery.

How painful is a protruding disc? ›

Pain is often described as sharp or burning. Numbness or tingling. People who have a herniated disk often have radiating numbness or tingling in the body part served by the affected nerves.

What causes L5-S1 disc bulge? ›

Injury or a traumatic event like a fall may also cause an L5-S1 disc bulge. Besides, improper lifting, repetitive activities that strain your spine, frequent driving, a sedentary lifestyle, and smoking may increase the chances of developing an L5-S1 disc bulge.

What is the best surgery for herniated disc? ›

Two minimally invasive procedures, microdiscectomy and endoscopic microdiscectomy, are most commonly recommended for lumbar herniated discs. These procedures take the pressure off the nerve root and provide a better healing environment for the disc.

When is it time for surgery for herniated disc? ›

Your doctor might recommend surgery as an option for your herniated disc if: Your symptoms have lasted at least 6 weeks and make it hard to do your normal activities, and other treatments haven't helped. You need to get better quickly because of your job or to get back to your other activities as soon as possible.

Is herniated disc surgery worth it? ›

Herniated disk surgery is often very effective, and it works faster than other treatments. You should start to see an improvement in symptoms like pain, weakness, and numbness within a few weeks after surgery. Physical therapy or rehab can help you recover quicker. You can go to a rehab center, or do exercises at home.

Can a chiropractor fix a protruding disc? ›

Yes! Chiropractic care is the preferred treatment method for many patients suffering from a bulging disc. It is non-invasive and does not require drugs or injections of any kind. Chiropractic can help provide you with improved mobility, decreased pain, and overall better quality of life.

What does a protruding disk feel like? ›

A slipped disc (also called a prolapsed or herniated disc) can cause: lower back pain. numbness or tingling in your shoulders, back, arms, hands, legs or feet. neck pain.


1. Low Back Pain Lumbar Disc Herniation - Everything You Need To Know - Dr. Nabil Ebraheim
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2. Examination Of S1 Nerve Root - Everything You Need To Know - Dr. Nabil Ebraheim
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3. L5 Nerve Root - Everything You Need To Know - Dr. Nabil Ebraheim
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4. DISC HERNIATION (Lower Back) Causes IMPOTENCE (Erectile Dysfunction Treatment) NYC Chiropractor
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5. The One "Bad" Sign Your Sciatica Herniated Disc May Not Heal
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6. How to Fix a Bulging Disc in Your Lower Back | RELIEF IN SECONDS!
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