Slipped disc treatment is intended to reduce or eliminate the symptoms that arise when an intervertebral disc ruptures and the gel-like inner material seeps out and begins to compress surrounding nerve roots or the spinal cord. This nerve compression or cord compression can cause neck pain, back pain, traveling pain, tingling, numbness, muscle weakness and other discomfort. Contrary to the name, a slipped disc never actually “slips.” More accurate terms for slipped disc are torn disc, ruptured disc or herniated disc.
How treatment plans differ
Factors that go into developing a slipped disc treatment plan include your age, how severe your symptoms are and your overall physical condition. Each patient and each herniated disc is unique, and your physician may choose a mild, non-surgical treatment plan or take a more aggressive approach. In most cases, slipped disc symptoms can be treated successfully with non-surgical therapy and lifestyle modifications.
Quite often, a physician will first prescribe a short period of rest to reduce swelling around compressed nerves and ease muscle spasms. Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or analgesic pain medication can sometimes relieve slipped disc pain, and hot and cold therapy can help relax tense muscles and control swelling, respectively.
Altering your daily activities also can help improve symptoms of a slipped disc. Your physician might suggest that you refrain from certain physically demanding activities that are probably exacerbating your symptoms. Since obesity can place extra pressure on the back, overweight patients can benefit from diet modification and low-impact exercise to reduce body weight and strengthen the muscles used to support the spine. Before starting a new diet and/or exercise plan, patients should talk to their physician, receive medical clearance and agree to regular checkups.
Injections might help
If symptoms persist after a few weeks or months of conservative slipped disc treatment, corticosteroid injections might help to reduce inflammation and relieve some of the pressure on the impinged or pinched nerve Prescription opioid medication and oral steroids also can be useful in relieving symptoms, but both options carry potential side effects.
Elective surgery usually is the last resort in slipped disc treatment, and is only recommended for patients who experience chronic pain that interferes significantly with everyday activity. Open neck or back slipped disc surgery is performed to decompress the nerves surrounding the slipped disc. This type of highly invasive surgery usually involves a large incision, significant tissue damage, infection risk, a lengthy recovery time and permanent range-of-motion loss.
Minimally invasive slipped disc treatment
Laser Spine Institute offers an alternative to open back surgery. Our outpatient procedures are minimally invasive, causing significantly less damage to muscles and tissues. Our slipped disc treatment offers a very high success rate.
If you have been diagnosed with a slipped disc and are tired of pain resulting from this condition, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about how our advanced procedures can help you find relief from neck and back pain.