Disc pain treatment is easier than you think. If your doctor has already diagnosed you with a bulging disc, herniated disc, thinning disc, or another disc problem, there are dozens of treatments available.
The treatment you choose will depend on the location of your damaged disc, the severity of your symptoms, and the length of time you’ve been suffering with symptoms. The treatments available to you might also depend on your age, activity level, and whether or not your symptoms have become worse over time.
More often than not, treatment for painful disc problems starts conservatively. If conservative treatments don’t work, then your doctor probably will recommend a more aggressive approach.
A few of the many disc pain treatment options include:
- Rest – At first it’s helpful to avoid any activities or movements that make your disc pain and other symptoms worse. By resting, you’ll be giving your herniated disc or bulging disc time to heal on its own if it’s able to.
- Physical therapy – While rest is important, it is often equally important to perform certain exercises that strengthen and stabilize the spine (but that don’t aggravate your painful disc). Physical therapy and exercise should always be approved by a doctor and/or physical therapist. Trying exercises on your own could make your condition worse.
- Ice packs and heat application – Cold and heat are said to relax the muscles of the spine, which can help reduce pressure around spinal nerves and reduce muscle spasms.
- Medications – Sometimes over-the-counter pain relievers can help relieve your disc pain symptoms, but if they don’t, your doctor can prescribe narcotic pain medication. Anti-inflammatory medication is another option, as this can reduce swelling and pressure around spinal nerves. Oral steroids also are powerful in their ability to reduce swelling and promote healing.
- Epidural steroid injections – Injections are somewhat invasive, but the injection of cortisone directly into spaces where nerves are compressed can reduce swelling in the area and ease painful pressure on nerves. While the effects are not always immediate, cortisone injections have been shown to provide disc pain relief for weeks or months.
If none of these disc pain treatments help you, and your quality of life has decreased because of chronic disc problems, contact Laser Spine Institute (LSI). Our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures are designed to gently remove wayward bits of disc material – and thereby release pinched nerves in the back and neck. For more information and a free review of your MRI or CT scan, contact LSI today.