A lumbar herniated disk is a ruptured disk in your lower back. It occurs when the nucleus or “jelly” is pushed out of your spinal disk through a tear. The ruptured disk puts pressure on a spinal nerve that can cause severe pain, numbness, and sometimes weakness.
Other symptoms associated with a lumbar herniated disk include:
- persistent back pain worsened by standing, coughing, or sneezing
- back spasms
- decreased reflexes at the knee or ankle
- leg muscle weakness
- numbness in leg and foot
- spinal cord compression
Treatments vary depending on the severity of the damage. In minor cases, doctors may recommend rest, pain medication, and, sometimes, acupuncture.