Lower back disc surgery is one of the most common disc surgeries because the lumbar (lower) region of the spine is involved in so many of our body’s movements. Each time we bend, arch or twist our spines, the vertebrae of the lower back must work to facilitate those movements, help us return to an upright position and protect the spinal cord from trauma. Given the enormous responsibility of the lower back, it is no surprise that many patients who turn to spine disc surgery do so to treat pain in the lumbar region.
Small injuries to the lumbar vertebral discs can cause herniated discs, bulging discs, sciatica or bone spurs, and create huge problems in your ability to maintain daily activities. You may be so eager to ease your symptoms of numbness, tingling and radicular pain, that you assume spine disc surgery is the only option. That is not the case – there are a number of non-invasive treatments that can bring you relief.
Physical therapy has been known to work wonders for some patients, even helping them avoid spinal disc surgery altogether. Ask your physician and physical therapist if regular exercise will help your spinal condition, and make sure to follow their advice about which exercises are best for you. Making it a point to do daily stretching and muscle-building exercises may help you increase your mobility and release tension that is causing neural compression and pain. Don’t forget that exercise releases endorphins, which are your body’s natural way of combating pain, both physically and mentally.
Steroid injections are another traditional treatment option that you may want to consider before deciding to undergo lower back disc surgery. An injection of the anti-inflammatory hormone cortisone is injected into the epidural space and can help to relieve spine pain for short periods of time. Cortisone is a slow-release steroid, so you would only need an injection once every several months. Pain and anti-inflammatory medications are also an option that you can consider, including muscle relaxants, narcotic pain medications, oral steroids or acetaminophen.
Even if these conservative treatment methods do not prove effective, lumbar pain does not have to go untreated. Laser Spine Institute provides an alternative to traditional open back disc surgery because our surgeons use minimally invasive, state-of-the-art techniques to help you regain an active life. Contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn more about our options for lower back disc surgery, or for your MRI or CT scan review.