L5 S1 Disc Herniation

An L5 S1 disc herniation can be incredibly painful and uncomfortable. Symptoms such as pain, numbness, and discomfort can start suddenly or develop over time. The symptoms can occur in the lower back and travel into the lower part of the body which can include your butt, legs, and feet . If you think that you have the symptoms of an L5 S1 Disc herniation, you should follow these 4 steps.

Talk to your Doctor about your Back Pain

If you think that you may have an L5 S1 Disc herniation, talk to your doctor. You will be able to better understand the L5 S1 disc herniation symptoms, and will be able to attack the back pain appropriately. There are many l5 s1 disc herniation symptoms that need to be looked at further. Bowel issues along with the pain may indicate something more serious.

Have an MRI of your Lumbar Spine

The MRI has become the popular way to deal with an L5 S1 disc herniation. MRI machines can help give doctors some view into the wear and tear on the back. This can help to diagnose the issue and determine the proper course for l5 s1 disc herniation treatment.  Anatomy of the Spine

Consider your Options

If you are dealing with these back issues, you should consider your multiple options. L5 S1 disc herniation surgery is not always necessary. You may be able to avoid this surgery all together by simple, non-surgical treatment procedures.  Herniated Disc Treatment Options

Monitor your Progress

You should always monitor your progress. If you are working towards L5 S1 disc herniation recovery, you need to make sure that you are seeing progress. Talk to your doctor about the pain you have as you work through all the herniated disc treatment options. By monitoring your progress you will help you and your doctor tweak your treatment accordingly and decide what’s next.

These 4 steps will simply help you to understand the process of treatment for an l5 s1 disc herniation. You need to talk to your doctor about all of these different steps to ensure that the issue is completely taken care of. Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor as many questions as you need to in order to fully understand the herniated disc treatment process. While a herniated disc is treatable, you must take the right steps to remove any pain and discomfort.

33 thoughts on “L5 S1 Disc Herniation”

  1. I came across your comment while researching L 5 herniated disc. You should consider going to Mayo Clnic’s pain and rehab program . I did and it was wonderful to be out of pain after years of being on drugs ( pain Meds ). There were several people there in the same boat you are in and left without their cains. I went to the clinic in Jacksonville. Please research it.

  2. Susan,
    I am so sorry for what you’re going through. I was involved in a car wreck last November on my birthday and went through one surgery and now trying to make up my mind about AxiaLIF L5-S1. I’ve been researching and reading for hours and came across your story.
    I don’t know what state you live in or how many years you’ve been with your current job but it is illegal in the state of Texas to be fired over medical. It’s called Discrimination and you can sue the hell out of them. There is a form you can file with your HR department. Unfortunately, I can’t remember at the moment. But it goes to corporate for approval. Basically, it protects you as an employee in regards to you or an ill child when you no longer have sick or vacation time. It means, you can take off to visit a doctor or if you have a sick child, you can attend to them. The company can’t fire you over it. It’s an extra insurance. Your HR department should help you with this.
    If you get fired over your medical, go file for unemployment right away. You WILL get paid. But it really depends how long you were an employee and if you had writes ups.
    Do some research. Don’t panic. You have rights to.
    I did a quick search for you and this link will give you a heads start.


    Many hugs and smiles to you. It will be okay. It’s time to get smart. Read up, educate yourself and things will look a whole lot better.

  3. Have the surgery! I had a complete rupture of l5-S1 and was in complete hell for two years. I finally had surgery at 31 and it was the best thing I ever did

  4. All these stories have me quite nervous. I was just diagnosed with severe herniations in L2,L3,L4,L5,S1. I also have Scoliosis curvature of the spine, my spine curves to the left and my right hip is rotated up and back which makes my left leg more then a 1/4 in shorter then my right. I am 41 and not looking forward to surgery if that is the route to go. Any suggestions?

  5. This is what has happened to me. It’s pretty rare? I don’t know about that. This is the third or fourth time I’ve torn these same discs and each time, MRI shows nucleus leaking. I had a Discogram done and believe me, NO ONE wants to have this done to them!! It is barbaric and the most painful procedure I have EVER had. Everyone in the waiting room heard me screaming! And the last thing you want with a hurt disc is to have a HOLE PUNCTURED in it, with a needle!! This is probably why I’ve hurt myself again. And all I did was stand up from my chair. Halfway up, the pain shot in my lumbar so bad I dropped down. All of my neurosugeons have told me I need a multi-level spinal fusion, but they all say that as long as I can walk, I should NOT have this done, as it usually doesn’t help, can cause MORE damage — nerve damage, paralysis, and healing isn’t always so well. I’ve been screaming in pain for 9 days now. Can’t even walk!!

  6. I feel like people who suggest that someone with a back injury (disc injury especially) see a Chiropractor have never EVER had an injury like this! I mean, really—what ARE they thinking?! Right now I can’t walk without staggering pain and very small shuffling steps. I can’t sit up without screaming in pain. I feel like I’m being stabbed with a red hot icepick in my L-4-S1 and someone says Chiro? WTF?! Might as well amputate my limbs w/o anesthesia, it would hurt LESS than this! I’ve torn my 2 lumbar discs and they are leaking. This is the third, maybe fourth time I’ve done this. But I’ve never been down THIS long–9 days now and not improvement at ALL! I’m miserable!

  7. I’m 23 just had an emergency laminectomy on 9/28. Before I had my surgery I had bilateral sciatica for 18 months. I couldn’t stand up straight sit straight and walking was complete torture. I had to beg for an MRI and when they saw how bad the herniation was at L5/S1 they immediately prepped me for surgery. My L4 was herniated as well but my L5/S1 was so bad he was hanging on my nerves. The disc was blown out they called it a massive herniation and therefore removed it all together. My surgeon told me due to the size of the herniation I might have to get rods and screws put in 6 months to a year later. After my surgery I was instantly relieved it was like omg I can walk again without pain. Sometimes guys you just might need the surgery I am very aware that since I’m an so young I have a long life of back problems ahead of me but relief is honestly the only thing we want and sometimes we are willing to do ANYTHING for it

  8. Air bubbles because of epidurals?? PLEASE DO NOT HAVE EPIDURALS BECAUSE OF BACK PAIN. They are NOT NOT NOT approved by the FDA for this purpose and mere millimeters can ruin your life. Look up arachnoiditis. MANY people are developing arachnoiditis because of epidurals. They are NOT worth the risk. If you develop arachnoiditis you will pray to have your pain back from the herniated/bulging discs!!

  9. Did you just get denied once? Everyone basically gets denied the first and sometimes even second time. You need a good attorney and appeal, appeal, appeal. It took me three years before I was approved, that was after three back surgeries and a below the knee amputaion. Do not give up!

  10. I had back surgery in 89 thats 1989 and I went for years ok went back to work. I still had some pain in the leg and tightness in the back but able to push though it. About 2000 I had to start getting back Procedures many of them. I saw a doctor that said I might have to have Spinal Cord Stimulator. Long story short I got the Stimulator and it work great. Ask yiur Dortor about a Spinal Cord Stimulator.

  11. I was hit by a drunk driver when I was 16 years old and spent 1 yr in a body cast and 2 years learning to use my motor skills again. Things were good until my 30’s and then the pain began. i had 15 years of pain medication, theraphy, injections, pain patches and everything in the book. My legs hurt so bad i felt like i had the flu from the waste down 24/7. I had degenerative disc diease and herniated and bulging discs at L 3/4 4/5 5/S-1. Also in my neck C 3/4 4/5 5/6 were all herniated to the point of no return. I was blessed to be referred to a neurosurgeon in Orlando Florida that in December of 2010 performed a new surgery on my lower back which consists of anchors and ropes and it is designed after the suspension system in a car. The minute i woke up from surgery (and the surgery is hard – I am not going to lie to you) the leg pain was completely gone. It has been 2 years now and i feel like a new person. I am a paralegal so i sit and stand alot and my pain had gotten so bad i thought i was gong to hve to quit my job. I am now working 10-12 hours a day and feel great. In December of 2011 I had my neck done and feel great. Both surgeries I was back to work ful time in 3 months. If anyone is interested I would be glad to give you the doctor’s information. I was number 45 of surgeries with a 93% success rate. It was a godsend for me.

  12. Hi Susan,

    I had microdiscectomy for L5S1 on 1/5/2012. I had back pain in in back and numbness in left leg and foot. other people told me that the numbness was gone when they came to after their surgery. Not in my case and over 4 months later it continues on the left leg and foot and now feeling numbness in the right leg and foot after occupational PT. Started felling jolt in back and legs a few weeks after PT started. Then got a jolt a couple of weeks ago that went down both legs. couldn’t sleep until I took my Hydrocodon at 3 AM. That’s when the right back, leg and foot issues started and are getting worse. Like you, I was on Gabapentin which only seemed to make the sensation in my leg and foot change more quickly but never go away. Went to doctor today and am being sent for an MRI and nerve testing. It’s frustrating as you know. I’ve been out of work as well. Boring and depressing. WC nurses, doctor, and PT people say the nerve issues can go on for a long time. Its all new to me so I’m trying to have faith in what they tell me. I will try to update after the MRI and nerve test. My guess is, by the way the right side feels, is that something is wrong on that side now. Hitting 50 has sucked.


  14. Hi, 49 year old female, always independent and able to work. Had some bulging l5S1 with surgery in 2006 and was ok for a few years. Kept coming back little by little, now I walk with a cane, I have had injections over last month (1 epidural in the spinal canal, one in the “butt joint”…) My job is telling me that if I can’t perform my work they will have to let me go, as an Activities Coordinator – well you get it. I don’t know where that will leave me, I am recently divorced, and live alone. Parents are both passed and face it everyone else is dealing with something as well, I am so scared. They give me lots of pills, I do therapy, yoga when I can move. I am so weak and in pain I have to crawl at times. I just have my first grandchild and can’t pick him up, I feel like crawling under a rock. I have VA insurance, which they are nice but I feel like they don’t listen. People say get Chiropractic massage, or “soft” massage (rather then aggressive). I am worried about paying my rent next month. What will happen to me if I lose my job and at this point in my life what will I do, Very Very Scared and in pain all the time.
    Does anyone else have pain in the thin part of the ankle (Akilles (spelling wrong I’m sure)) like the numbness and pain is so bad if you take a step you will shatter your whole foot? How about meds? I am on 900mg gabapentin 3 times a day, hydracodone 1 to 2 (5mg) 4 times a day, Ibrophen 800 every 6 hours, cyclebenzaben 3 times a day (all spellings are up for grabs). What the heck do I do!

  15. I have herniated disc in both my cervical and lumbar spine. It got so bad that I had to have surgery on both. I had severe weakness in my left arm and left leg. Fortunately, I can say I surgery went well. It has been almost 5 years since surgery and I returned to my full-time job 2 years after surgery. I have been back to work for 3 years and have occasional problems, but nothing like before. I am very happy to be back to my daily living and work. I am located in Philadelphia and have an awesome attorney for both workman’s comp and SSDI. If you live in or near Philly it would be worth your while to look into using this firm. I also know of an excellent neurosurgeon in my area too.

  16. Pingback: Any lower back pain sufferers?
  17. This is all really scaring me a bit. I had my first REALLY bad experience with sciatica about two years ago…and could EVEN walk for about 3 months! I’m now having it again and it’s too the point where I can’t even function with anything.
    I was a ballet dancer for 12 years and then later went into bodybuilding getting up to about 213 pounds…and natural. I was doing incline bench with dumbbells one day and something in my lower back sent out the sharpest pain I’ve ever felt in my life. Since then, I’ve been having trouble….
    And all the doctors I see never tell me anything new.
    What to do?

  18. I have it ALL and done it ALL…I’m ready for surgery if it’s warranted, or a gun! Nobody seems to address my problem of having nothing left at L5 S1…what’s that called? Everyone is dragging their feet and, in the meantime, I can’t function.

  19. I am 37 I had surgery on my l5-s1 disc at the age of 29 I’ve worked more than a handful of jobs since as well as applying for ssi numerous times while the only thing i have to show for it is several air bibbles in the same region because of epidural injections when my sciotic nerve shuts my lower extremities down. I spend my days constantly trying to rid myself of all the herniated disc symptoms & the best things I’ve found to work “for myself” are stretching, massages, inversion, heat or cold presses, yoga, very low impact workouts & a lot of rest. My next step will be to use magic being as though I have exhausted every resource I could possibly come across so until I can make it magically disappear join the club & deal with it.

  20. I am a 47 yr. old and have been an auto mechanic for 25 years. I have 3 bad dics in my low back and 3 in my neck. I have fought low back back pain and numbness in my legs for many years, then my neck started to have issues about 4 yrs ago, I tried chiropractic, had several injections and physical therapy. I still continued to try to work { missed alot of time during this period } until the day both my legs went totally numb and i continued to try to finish the job I was working on ,when my arms stated to go out on me with severe neck pain. this was the last day I was able to work. after being out for over a year my condition continued to deteriorate even without activity. I also have carpel tunnel in my right hand as well,the pain and numbness along with weakness in all my extremities has disabled me to a point where I cannot be stationary for periods of time nor active without about 3 days of bed rest to recover, yet I was denied social security disability. If anybody has any similar experiences I would like to hear about them and how they turned out. I do have a lawyer for a workmans comp claim who is also doing the SSDI, but its difficult to get information from him as he does not want to speculate. thanks and your commencts would be appreciated.

  21. Surgery for a herniated disk is a treatment of absolutely the last resort. Unless it has herniated to the point where the contents of your disk(nucleus polposus) is extruded into the spinal canal, which is very rare, or you are experiencing symptoms of caude equina syndrome (where you loose bowel and bladder symptoms and loss of feeling in your saddle area), disk surgery is not generally recommended, because of its low long term success rate and highly increased chances of further degeneration in the areas surrounding the incised disk.

    Conservative chiropractic treatment and rehab with physio therapy, and excercises are the best options. Both cheapest and most effective. There is tons of literature that supports this, yet MD’s often dont recognize this, although in the recent years there is much more collaboration and recognition among the professions.

    hope this helped

  22. I too have your exact problem, but when I got hurt at work and was not able to work for 2 yrs I found out that all the therapy, injections and all sorts of other techniques were not helping. I decided to do my own aggressive treatment and went back to work as a housekeeper. Yes I would lock and cry in the corner but I found that I had to stretch the muscle more than what the treadmill or tractions techniques were doing. Once in a while I get a muscle spasm here and there and I feel like I want to lock but I’ve learned how to work around the pain and sometimes even preventing it.

  23. hola a todos lamentablemente yo padesco de una severa hernia discal l5-s1 a mis 20 años de edad. Yo llevaba una vida normal praticaba ejercicio con frecuencia aparte praticaba voleybol y futbol mucho mas es mi motivacion diaria. A los 18 años deje de estudiar y me puse a trabajar en la contruccion (obra civil).
    hace un unos 9 meses empeze con el primer sintoma cuando estornudaba me dolia el gluteo vamos que en mi ignorancia no le preste atencion porque era una simple dolor d unos segundos, yo seguia con mi vida normal ejercicio, trabajar,un poco de fiesta alcohol ocacionalmente, fumar nunca e fumado pero en el trabajo me dieron un dumper (maquinaria de contruccion) ace uns 4 meses todo iba bien cuando empezo el dolor en la espalda fue cosa de unos 2 dias luego paso al gluteo derecho por la parte de atras fui al medico de la seguridad social y me receto antiflamatorios, insisti para que me icieran una resonancia y lo logre el resultado d la resonancia Severa hernia discal en el disco L5-S1 importantes signos contracturales, intensa rectificacion de la lordosis, mi conclusion es que yo ya tenia la hernia sin saberlo claro pero no presentaba dolor pero cuando empeze a trabajar con el dumper por la vibraciones y estar sentado todo el dia en el me afecto a la hernia que no podia ni caminar llevo de baja 1 mes y medio y ahora camino pero sigo con el ormigeo en la pierna derecha y me duele cuando quiero levantarla.
    Quisiera antes que nada pedir disculpas por mi falta d ortografia como veis al principio deje los estudios jaja quisiera consejos ayuda alguna explicacion que seria buena una operacion una quimeoterapia si podria acer mi vida normal mi gran anelo jugar al futbol sinceramente estaba muy deprimido pero ya voy a mejor e visto que la ciencia avanza y estan experimentando con celulas madre nada deseo lo mejor a todos los que padecemos esto y ANIMO

  24. I have A L5S1 herniation, It tends to vary in pain and numbness. I found out about It in a rather painful manner. I found Out In Boot Camp in the Marines. Apparently I had it for 2 years and it never shown any signs other then a mild discomfort to sit (driving to be the worst.) After my Medical Discharge I Was given 5 different opinions. Most said surgery would do ten times the damage then actual good while others jumped at surgery with out a thought. I had injections into my spine to lower swelling. It did great for me for about a month, and did physical therapy which helped alot. After Boot it developed into running on a treadmill will cause me debilitating pain that caused me to collapse on the running machine. I was pointed to the elliptical machine which did not bother me in any way. Sitting in long periods would cause a numbness in my toes to the spot of the L5S1. Eventually it came down to weather and pressure change caused pain that caused me to not be very active. Currently I have noticed my right leg has lost a large amount of flexibility of movement and strength.

  25. Hi Mandy, how severe was your husband’s hernia? How is he doing now after the operation?

  26. my husband just had back surgery yesterday. he had to have his l4 through s1 disks removed two rods and six screws and some kind of cushions inserted was wondering if you could give us some more information about this subject

  27. An excellent understanding on this. Thanks. I have dealt with low back injuries from multiple accidents while involved in extreme sports and one thing is for certain, you don’t want to mess around with your spine.

    Building a strong core around your spine is invaluable to longevity if you have serious back injury or degenerative discs. Thanks for sharing your info!

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