Discogenic back pain is a term used to describe symptoms associated with a disorder of an intervertebral disc. It can be caused by a herniated disc or a bulging disc, each of which frequently results from gradual disc degradation that occurs as part of the natural aging process. Most of the time, herniated or bulging discs do not produce symptoms. However, when a portion of the outer disc wall or extruded nucleus material comes into contact with the disc’s own nerves, nerve roots in the spinal column or the spinal cord, symptoms such as localized pain, radiating pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness can occur.
Non-surgical treatment for discogenic back pain
In about 90 percent of cases, symptoms associated with a disc disorder can be managed using conservative, non-operative methods. Eventually, the affected disc heals itself through a process known as resorption, during which the material causing nerve compression is absorbed into the bloodstream. This process takes time, though, and pain can become debilitating during the healing process. In the interim, discogenic back pain can be dealt with using the following conservative treatments under a physician’s supervision:
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic therapy
- Pain medicine
- Epidural steroid injections
When conservative treatment is not enough
However, if chronic discogenic back pain persists despite weeks or months of conservative treatment, surgery may become an option. Rather than undergoing highly invasive traditional open back surgery, tens of thousands of patients have found relief at Laser Spine Institute. Our surgeons perform minimally invasive, outpatient procedures that can help you find meaningful relief from back pain. Contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more or for a free review of an MRI or CT scan.