The spine is made of bones called vertebrae. In between these bones are discs, soft cushions that act as “shock absorbers” for the spine. The spine protects the spinal cord, which is the nerve center of the body.
The lumbar spine is the hardest working part of your spine because it carries the most weight and moves the most.
The discs between the vertebrae can wear down over time due to injury or aging. With these “shock absorbers”, pressure on the nerves of the spine can cause pain in the lower back and/or leg. Bone spurs may form and narrow the space through which the nerves pass. This may also lead to nerve irritation and pain.
Spine surgery is recommended when the pressure on the spinal nerves is not relieved through nonsurgical methods such as rest, medication, physical therapy, and/or exercise. People who need spine surgery continue to have pain that impairs their ability to carry out daily functions.