Anyone who has experienced a torn disc knows how much pain and discomfort this spinal condition can cause. Many individuals also encounter numbness, tingling, spasms, and muscle weakness in the neck, back and extremities. These uncomfortable symptoms lead many individuals to seek treatment from a physician.
What is a Torn Disc?
Since each intervertebral disc is subject to a great deal of wear and tear, its annulus fibrosus (the tough exterior) is susceptible to developing a crack or tear. People between the ages of 30 and 50 are especially prone to an intervertebral disc tear, since discs tend to dry out and shrink over time. Traumatic injury can also cause a disc to tear, and may occur as the result of a car accident, athletic injury, or any other sudden impact. A torn disc can become quite painful when disc tissue seeps through the tear, enters into the spinal canal, and compresses a spinal nerve.
How is a Torn Disc Treated?
Most physicians begin treatment for a torn disc through conservative means, including over-the-counter pain medications, behavior modification, physical therapy, and intermittent rest. Many patients choose to supplement these treatments with alternative therapies. Though some holistic approaches have garnered controversy, a number of patients attribute relief to one or more of the following:
- Massage therapy
- Herbal supplements
If conservative and alternative treatments prove ineffective, a doctor may recommend open back surgery. In order to avoid a hospital stay and lengthy recovery, patients may want to consider the minimally invasive outpatient procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute. Contact us to learn how our safe and effective endoscopic procedures can be used to treat a torn disc.