A herniated disc can be extremely painful, but surgery is usually a last-resort treatment option to relieve the discomfort caused by a herniated disc. There are a number of non-surgical herniated disc treatments available that may reduce your herniated disc symptoms without the need for invasive open back surgery.
Conservative herniated disc treatments
Conservative (non-surgical) herniated disc treatments should almost always be attempted before considering surgery. Over time these treatments should ease your herniated disc symptoms before the situation escalates. However, it can take some time for patients to find the perfect combination of non-surgical treatments to relieve their symptoms. Conservative methods include medicinal, alternative and lifestyle-changing options such as:
- Pain medicine
- Modifying your posture
- Hot/cold compresses applied to the inflamed area
- Epidural steroid injections
- Stretching and low-impact exercise
- Corrective braces
- Alternative treatments such as acupuncture and chiropractic treatment
Open spine operations vs. minimally invasive herniated disc surgery
If months of conservative herniated disc treatments do not alleviate your pain, talk to your physician to learn about your surgical options and do some research on the surgical approaches available for a herniated disc. Surgery is not to be taken lightly, and you should look into success rates, recovery time and invasiveness of any herniated disc surgery in order to have an educated discussion with your physician or specialist. If you feel the need, do not be afraid to seek out a second opinion about your treatment options. If you have decided that herniated disc surgery is the only treatment for you, there are generally two surgical approaches of which you should be aware.
An open spine operation is considered an invasive herniated disc treatment in which surgeons operate on your spine via a large incision. Open spine operations typically entail hospitalization, muscle tissue being cut and recuperation periods lasting as long as six months to a year.
In contrast, minimally invasive herniated disc surgery is performed via a small incision (approximately 1 inch). This outpatient procedure has a much faster recovery time than open spine operations and involves significantly less risk of complications.
If you would like relief from your chronic pain that’s being caused by a torn disc, contact Laser Spine Institute today to discuss your herniated disc treatment options with a specialist.