For people with a ruptured or herniated disc, the pain can be hardly noticeable or it can be severe and debilitating. Ruptured disc treatments attempt to alleviate the pain and discomfort associated with disc material that is pressing upon the spinal cord or its nerve roots. Treatments can range from pain medications to chiropractic adjustments; however, short of surgery, virtually all ruptured disc treatments are designed to provide only temporary relief.
Your vertebrae are separated by spongy discs that have a tough outer layer called the annulus fibrosus which covers and protects the nucleus pulposus, a gel-like substance. As we age, the nucleus loses its fluid content and begins to degenerate. If there is further breakdown of a disc, the outer covering of the disc can rupture, pushing the nucleus out into the spinal canal. When this occurs, the discs don’t allow normal movement, and that can lead to pain, weakness and other symptoms. Aging is just one of a few possible ruptured disc causes. Others include degenerative disc disease, general wear and tear, car accidents and sports-related injuries.
Symptoms vary depending on the position of the ruptured disc and the size of its herniation. However, a ruptured disc is typically preceded by neck pain or low back pain, numbness and weakness. Mobility may decrease and limit your daily activities like playing tennis, shopping or going to work. That’s when ruptured disc treatments can be beneficial. Treatments also can help bridge the gap as your body works to heal itself and absorb wayward disc material.
Consult your health care provider if you notice the symptoms of a cervical, thoracic or lumbar bulging disc. He or she can properly diagnose the cause of your pain and recommend various ruptured disc treatments, which include:
- Modified activity
- Non-prescription medication like acetaminophen
- Cold and hot packs
- Stretching and strengthening exercises
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Prescription pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and anti-inflammatories
- Heat packs and ice packs (cryotherapy)
If you don’t respond to standard treatment, you may need more progressive treatments to regain your mobility. Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive procedures performed on an outpatient basis – procedures that remove ruptured disc material, often providing meaningful relief. With a quicker recuperation time than other treatments like traditional open spine surgery, Laser Spine Institute’s state-of-the-art procedures can help you find relief from neck and back pain. For a review of your MRI or CT scan, and to learn more about our facilities, contact us today.