Definition of Lumbar Spine Syndrome in English

The term lumbar spine syndrome hides different phenomena, such as chronic back pain and lumbago. It is a collective term for different disorders and not an independent disease. Nevertheless, medical treatment is recommended if the symptoms persist.

What characterizes the lumbar spine syndrome?

The main symptom of the syndrome is pain. These affect the area of ​​the lumbar spine and are perceived as dull and pulling. See AbbreviationFinder for abbreviations related to Lumbar Spine Syndrome.

The clinical picture of the lumbar spine syndrome includes different symptoms. However, the focal point of the differentiated diseases is local pain in the area of ​​the lumbar spine. Otherwise, the syndrome can take on different dimensions without there necessarily being any further parallels between the complaints. Back pain is a common phenomenon in adults.

In advancing age, there are only a few people who have not yet had any experience with complaints of this kind. The lumbar spine syndrome can be divided into subtypes. On the one hand there is an acute back pain, on the other hand a chronic one. In general, back pain mostly affects the region of the lumbar spine. Long-term pain should be clarified by a doctor. This is the only way to maintain the patient’s quality of life as much as possible.


The causes of lumbar spine syndrome are very different. Here, too, a differentiation is drawn between the acute and the chronic syndrome.

Acute lumbar spine syndrome usually appears very suddenly and without much warning. The pain takes on a high level and is often caused by a wrong movement. This can occur during sporting activities, but also in everyday life, for example when lifting and carrying heavy objects.

In addition to incorrect movements and signs of wear, herniated discs can also cause acute lumbar spine syndrome. When a disc herniates, the gall core of a disc ruptures. The escaping fluid can crush nerves, resulting in severe pain.

Chronic lumbar spine syndrome is caused by slow wear and tear of the intervertebral discs. As a result, numerous other diseases occur. Osteoporosis or scoliosis can also be to blame for the symptoms. Fractures, tumors in the lumbar spine, blockages in the vertebral bodies, congenital malformations, inflammation or bony changes also have the potential to trigger lumbar spine syndrome.

Symptoms, Ailments & Signs

The main symptom of the syndrome is pain. These affect the area of ​​the lumbar spine and are perceived as dull and pulling. It is also not uncommon for the pain to radiate into the legs. The lumbar spine hurts more often than other parts of the back because it is exposed to greater stress in everyday life.

The pain usually comes on suddenly and varies in intensity depending on body position. Coughing or sneezing usually makes the symptoms worse. Furthermore, the occurrence of tingling, numbness and paralysis cannot be ruled out. In such a case, a doctor must be consulted, because the disorders indicate nerve injuries.

In some cases, those affected are no longer able to consciously control the closing muscles of the bladder or rectum, resulting in incontinence. Aside from back pain, LSW syndrome is often expressed by an increase in sweat production at night. In the event of additional flare-ups, medical treatment is inevitable.

Diagnosis & course of disease

The diagnosis is made through a detailed discussion with the doctor and a physical examination. During the interview, the complaints must be described in detail. Other symptoms such as fever should not be ignored, even if those affected do not necessarily associate them with the aching back.

The course of LWS syndrome ultimately depends on the underlying cause. There are now numerous therapeutic approaches for treating a herniated disc, so that the quality of life can usually be reconstructed. Degenerative diseases, on the other hand, can usually be treated less effectively. It is to be expected that the complaints will continue. However, different measures are able to reduce the pain.


Those affected primarily suffer from severe pain as a result of the lumbar spine syndrome. These occur mainly on the back and can significantly reduce and restrict the patient’s quality of life. It is not uncommon for the pain from the back to spread to other regions of the body and cause problems there as well.

Pain at night can also lead to trouble sleeping and depressive moods. It is not uncommon for the symptoms of the lumbar spine syndrome to occur, especially during exertion, and there is tingling or numbness. In the worst case, the person affected suffers paralysis, resulting in severe limitations in everyday life.

Incontinence can also occur and also lead to considerable complications. Those affected are then often dependent on the help of other people in their everyday lives. During the night, it is not uncommon for increased sweat production to occur, disrupting the sleep rhythm.

The treatment of the lumbar spine syndrome is causal and is usually remedied by physiotherapy. Usually there are no special complications. However, there is no guarantee that all complaints can be completely curbed

When should you go to the doctor?

The lumbar spine syndrome (LWS syndrome) is characterized by non-specific symptoms without any explanatory findings. This already means that the diagnosis must first be secured by excluding causes such as a herniated disc in the spine or an irritated sciatic nerve. A family doctor or orthopedist should therefore be consulted if symptoms in this area appear for the first time and do not resolve spontaneously within a few days.

Another reason for visiting the doctor is massive or changing symptoms. This applies in particular to cases in which the character of the pain changes. If, for example, a back pain radiates through the buttocks into the legs. Tingling and other abnormal sensations such as numbness also indicate nerve involvement and should be clarified by the doctor.

It is advisable to see a doctor as soon as possible in the event of paralysis in the foot area or if you have the feeling that you can no longer control your bladder or bowels properly. All of this can point to a massive disc problem and is not a symptom complex that still fits with a lumbar spine syndrome. The neurologist, like the orthopedist, can make the distinction.

It is also advisable to clarify lower back complaints during pregnancy or if nocturnal complaints permanently disturb your sleep. Also in connection with an accident, back problems in the lumbar spine area are better to be clarified promptly.

Treatment & Therapy

Before treatment can begin, an accurate diagnosis must be made. The term LSW syndrome finally includes several phenomena that are treated in different ways. Therefore, identifying the exact causes is crucial for effective treatment. A herniated disc is particularly often responsible for the acute LSW syndrome.

This can be treated in different ways. Conservative measures are usually used first. These are rest, warmth and gentle movement. Acupuncture and physiotherapy can also be performed. For these, it may be necessary to administer a pain reliever so that the patient finds the session bearable. Surgery is only considered when conservative approaches have been unsuccessful.

As a rule, however, this is only the case if there are already signs of paralysis in the legs. During an operation, for example, the intervertebral disc that is responsible for the symptoms is removed. The entire therapy is subject to the administration of painkillers.

In the case of existing tumours, this is surgically removed if this is possible. This is followed by chemotherapy to destroy cancer cells. Inflammatory diseases such as rheumatism can sometimes not be cured, but only alleviated. Anti-inflammatory drugs are usually used for this. Regular exercise is also important.

Outlook & Forecast

Basic statements on the success of treatment for lumbar spine syndrome are hardly possible. In any case, patients should see an orthopedist immediately. Otherwise, the typical pain will remain. This makes everyday private and professional life mostly unbearable for many.

The question of a cure depends on the extent of the damage. If there are simple muscular symptoms, physiotherapy can permanently eliminate the symptoms. If the damage has become chronic, only mitigation is possible. The patient can usually lead a reasonably normal everyday life. However, he must avoid heavy lifting and deep bending. Special chairs make everyday office life easier. Strengthening the back muscles also helps in some cases, for example by going to a gym. In the most severe cases, doctors recommend surgery.

Lumbar spine syndrome can lead to restricted mobility and instability. Depending on the extent, this can result in a permanent disability. General statements on the duration of therapy are not possible. How long measures are indicated depends on the cause and the extent. Painkillers are usually used as a supplement. The success of the treatment also depends on the extent to which the patient reorganizes his or her life.


LWS syndrome can be prevented to a limited extent. Physical activity is particularly helpful here. Lifting and carrying heavy objects must be done with care. Unusual movements should be avoided or performed slowly. Correct posture is also important. This relieves the lumbar spine and can be learned under certain circumstances.


The lumbar spine syndrome is usually associated with a number of different complaints and complications, so that the person concerned should always consult a doctor in the first place. Self-healing is usually not possible with this disease either, so that a doctor should be contacted at the first signs and symptoms of the syndrome.

The pain can also appear in the form of rest pain, which can have a negative effect on the sufferer’s sleep. Many patients are therefore dissatisfied, irritable and slightly annoyed. Sometimes this can lead to depression. Regular consultations with the doctor about the treatment methods are therefore recommended in order to avert any bad posture that may arise due to relieving posture.

Lumbar spine syndrome can also lead to severe headaches and dizziness, and thus have a very negative effect on the quality of life of those affected. They are sometimes dependent on the help of friends and family in everyday life. Complete healing is not always possible. As a rule, however, the syndrome does not reduce the life expectancy of the person affected.

You can do that yourself

Patients with the lumbar spine syndrome have various options for self-help in everyday life, which alleviate symptoms and sometimes prevent a worsening of their health condition. It is particularly helpful to find a balance between relieving and stressful activities and phases. The right balance is to be determined individually by the person concerned based on the body feeling and the severity of the back pain. Correct posture goes a long way in reducing pain and strengthening muscles.

When sitting for a long time, it is important that patients with lumbar spine syndrome frequently vary their sitting position in order to compensate for unfavorable loads on certain zones. Numerous people also experience relief from their symptoms through local heat treatments, which can be easily applied at home. For example, warming plasters and bandages or ointments can be used. In addition, warm baths relax the muscles of the lumbar spine and often lead to a short-term improvement in the condition.

Patients with lumbar spine syndrome achieve a general improvement in their well-being through sport, although the type and intensity of the sporting activities should be discussed with the doctor. Endurance sports such as swimming and Nordic walking are particularly practical. The associated physical fitness has a positive effect on general physical well-being and thus on the quality of life.

Lumbar Spine Syndrome