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Lumbar Hernia

Lumbar Hernia: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, & More

Has any of you ever experienced a persistent pain in your lower back that just doesn’t go away? Or maybe, a subtle discomfort that seems to stay much longer than you would expect? – If you’ve answered yes, you have been experiencing lumbar hernia.

This blog by Manhattan Medical Arts is dedicated to explaining the complexities of lumbar hernia in back, helping you understand the mysteries surrounding this common condition.

Join us as we take a look at lumbar hernia symptoms, causes, treatments, and everything else you should know when dealing with this pain inducing condition.

What is Lumbar Hernia?

Lumbar hernia, also known as a herniated disc or slipped disc, is a condition where the soft center of a spinal disc protrudes through a tear or weak spot in the outer layer. They can occur after a sudden injury, but this is rare and might cause bruising on the side of the belly.

A lumbar hernia is like a bump on lower back, that hurts when you cough. Besides that, you might also feel general back pain or discomfort. This kind of hernia in back usually has some fat in it, but sometimes, though rarely, it can also have some bowel in it.

Lumbar Hernia Symptoms

Lumbar hernia symptoms can manifest in various ways, providing important signs  that something might be wrong in your lower back region. Let’s explore the diverse lumbar hernia symptoms, including the distinctive bump on lower back.

  • Bump on Lower Back: The bump on lower back caused by lumbar hernia is quite noticeable, sometimes more prominent during certain activities like coughing or lying flat.
  • Pain on Coughing: The act of coughing increases the pain associated with a lumbar hernia.
  • General Back Pain: A persistent, non-specific ache that may extend beyond the site of that bump on lower back.
  • Discomfort During Exercise: Exercise, especially movements involving the lower back, may intensify the discomfort associated with the lumbar hernia.
  • Hernia Under Ribs: Pain or discomfort may also radiate from the lumbar region to the adjacent ribs, creating a broader area of discomfort.
  • Rare Bowel Involvement: Although uncommon, a lumbar hernia may, in rare cases, involve the presence of bowel in that bump on lower back, potentially causing distinct symptoms related to bowel function.

Lumbar Hernia Causes

Being aware of the causes of lumbar hernia is important when it comes to understanding the origins of this back condition.

Here are the key factors that contribute to the development of a lumbar hernia:

  • Age-Related Wear and Tear: The aging process can lead to decreased water content in the discs, making them prone to herniation.
  • Trauma or Injury: Trauma can cause tears or weaknesses in the outer layer of spinal discs, facilitating the protrusion of the inner gel-like substance.
  • Genetic Predisposition: Some people may have a genetic predisposition to lumbar hernia, with a higher likelihood of developing herniated discs.
  • Occupational Factors: Certain occupations place increased stress on the lower back, contributing to the wear and tear on spinal discs.
  • Improper Lifting Techniques: Incorrect lifting techniques can strain the lower back, leading to herniation of spinal discs.

Can Lumbar Hernia Cause Back Pain?

Yes. Lumbar hernia often leads to back pain due to pressure on the spinal nerves. The pain can range from a dull ache to sharp, shooting sensations depending on the severity of the herniation.

Lumbar Hernia Treatments

Understanding the available treatment options is the key to relieving lumbar hernia symptoms and enhancing overall back health.

  • Rest and Activity Modification: Taking a break and altering activities to minimize strain on the lower back provides temporary relief and reduction of stress on the herniated disc.
  • Physical Therapy: Targeted exercises that strengthen the back and improve flexibility aids in alleviating pain, enhancing core strength, and preventing future episodes.
  • Medications: Use of pain relievers, anti-inflammatory drugs, or muscle relaxants can help manage pain and reduce inflammation, contributing to overall symptom relief.
  • Injections: Epidural injections delivering anti-inflammatory medication to the affected area can provide localized relief, reducing pain and inflammation.
  • Surgery: Surgical intervention for severe cases or persistent symptoms may involve removing or repairing the herniated disc to alleviate pressure on nerves and restore spinal stability.
  • Home Remedies: Applying warm or cold compresses, practicing good posture, and using over-the-counter pain relief creams can provide additional comfort and support in managing lumbar hernia symptoms.

How Long Does it Take To Recover?

Recovery time varies for all individuals, ranging from a few weeks to months. The factors such as treatment approach, individual health, and adherence to rehabilitation play an important role in the recovery.

When to See a Doctor?

Schedule an immediate appointment with your healthcare provider if:

  • Lumbar hernia symptoms persist or worsen
  • There’s difficulty in controlling bowel or bladder function
  • There’s weakness or numbness in both legs
  • Severe pain or trauma is involved


If you or any of your loved ones are dealing with this persistent back problem, this article is for you. Knowing these essential aspects about lumbar hernia equips you enough to effectively deal with this condition.

You can also reach out to our experts at Manhattan Medical Arts. Our team is committed to providing personalized care, guiding you towards a pain-free and healthier life.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does a lumbar hernia feel like?

Lumbar hernia can feel like a bump on lower back, sometimes causing pain or discomfort.

Is lumbar hernia dangerous?

While lumbar hernias are typically not life-threatening, they can cause significant discomfort and impact daily activities. Seeking medical advice is crucial for appropriate management.

How do I know if I have a lumbar hernia?

Look for a noticeable bump on lower back, especially if it causes pain or discomfort. If in doubt, consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis.

What happens if a flank hernia is left untreated?

Untreated flank hernias may lead to complications such as incarceration or strangulation, where the herniated tissue becomes trapped or blood supply is compromised. This can cause severe pain and requires immediate medical attention.

What can be mistaken for a hernia?

Conditions like muscle strains, infections, or even issues with internal organs, such as kidney problems, can be mistaken for hernias. If experiencing abdominal or back discomfort, consulting a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis is advisable.

– Disclaimer –

This blog is for informational & educational purposes only, and does not intend to substitute any professional medical advice or consultation. For any health related concerns, please consult with your physician, or call 911.

Medically Reviewed

Last reviewed by Dr. Syra Hanif, M.D. on 12/12/2023

Learn more about our editorial process.

  • About The Author

    Dr. Syra Hanif M.D.

    Board Certified Primary Care Physician

Dr. Syra Hanif is a board-certified Primary Care Physician (PCP) dedicated to providing compassionate, patient-centered healthcare.

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