Lumbar Herniated Disc - When To Call a Doctor Call 911 or other emergency services immediately if: You have a sudden loss of bowel or bladder control. An injury causes numbness or weakness in one or both legs.
Call your doctor if:
Recommended Related to Back Pain
Sciatica Pain Relief
As many as 40% of people will get sciatica, or irritation of the sciatic nerve, at some point in their life. This nerve comes from either side of the lower spine and travels through the pelvis and buttocks. Then the nerve passes along the back of each upper leg before it divides at the knee into branches that go to the feet.
Anything that puts pressure on or irritates this nerve can cause pain that shoots down the back of one buttock or thigh. The sensation of pain can vary widely. Sciatica may...
Read the Sciatica Pain Relief article > >
Leg pain is accompanied by persistent weakness,
tingling, or numbness in any part of the leg from the buttock to the ankle or
foot. New low back pain is accompanied by vomiting and/or fever
[ 101°F (38.5°C) or higher]
that lasts longer than 48 hours. Leg pain or intermittent weakness,
tingling, or numbness lasts longer than 1 week despite home
treatment. You have back pain that either won't go away or builds in
intensity over a few weeks. A back injury is work-related, and
symptoms don't improve in 2 to 3 days. Back pain is accompanied by
pain during urination or blood in the urine. You have back pain that is worse when you are resting than when
you are active. You notice a gradual increase in problems with
bowel or bladder control. Watchful waiting
Watchful waiting is a wait-and-see approach. If you get better on your own, you won't need treatment. If you get worse, you and your doctor will decide what to do next.
If you have pain, numbness, or tingling in one
leg that gets worse with sitting, standing, or walking (without any obvious leg
You may try a brief period of bed
rest—usually no more than 1 to 2 days—then gradually begin activities if the
pain is manageable. Take short walks. Avoid movements
and positions that increase pain or numbness. Who to see
For diagnosis and nonsurgical treatment of a
herniated disc, you may see:
For diagnosis and surgical treatment of a herniated disc,
To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.