Lumbar discopathy diagnostics

To diagnose lumbar discopathy during examinations the doctor will ask several subjective questions about the patient’s wellbeing. The examination involves neurological tests and the Laseque test. In more complicated cases, the doctor can order imaging tests such as:
  • X-Ray – You can observe the decrease in distance between vertebrae when inflammation has already happened. It is not the most detailed image.
  • Cat Scan and MRI Scan. These tests can tell us the most about the condition of the spine. They are showing the earliest and smallest changes in vertebrae, and between them.
You must know that only imaging tests can give you certainty regarding the level of spine degeneration and confirmation of the cause of pain.

Lumbar discopathy treatment

Untreated discopathy causes degenerative changes to spread on the other spine curves. Therapy needs to be assigned individually, each patient responds to different treatment. The aim of the treatment is to mobilize the patient, soothe the pain, relax muscles, and to stop deterioration of degenerative changes.

The first actions of the doctor and physiotherapist focus on conservative treatment based on recommendations of resting in a lying position, prescribing pain killers and anti-inflammatory medicine, and sometimes hot compresses. When the patient sees improvement, the physiotherapist proceeds with mobilization cautiously. Additionally, this process should continue without any additional weight so the pain does not reoccur. Sometimes at this stage MRI Scans are performed. In cases involving chronic pain, manual therapy and massages are introduced.

Physiotherapy as additional treatment

Physiotherapy must be prescribed, but it only has a local effect. TENS- nervous stimulation through the skin may cause a pain-killing effect. Cryochamber or local cryotherapy also can have a really positive effect. In addition, you can seek treatments such as laser treatment, electro and electromagnetic fields, Sollux and Biotron lamps, and iontophoresis.

What makes treatment successful

Conservative treatment success depends on:
  • how advanced changes in discs are
  • proper pharmacological treatment
  • choosing the correct healing techniques for the individual patient
  • cooperation between the patient and the therapist based on mutual trust and application of recommendations
  • patient being systematic and determined

Surgical treatment of lumbar discopathy

Surgical treatment is decided by a doctor, and is only proposed after detailed diagnostics. Indisputable recommendations for cervical treatment are symptoms of neurological deficit, which is a marker of damage to the nervous system, such as paresis, numbness, etc. Types of surgical treatment:
  • classic surgical intervertebral disc removal
  • microsurgical intervertebral disc removal
  • techniques affecting the structure of the intevertebral shield through the skin (lazer, high frequency waves, etc)
  • dissolving intevertebral discs through enzyme injection (out of date method rarely used nowadays)
  • methods using ceramic, carbon, or polymeric implants (static or flexible – research is still ongoing)

Prevention

Prevention in lumbar discopathy is not much different compared to other spine conditions. The most important rules are correct posture, daily activity ergonomics, proper work station ergonomics, and healthy physical activity.