What is the best course of treatment for a collapsed disc?

A collapsed disc occurs due to loss of height in one of the discs that cushions the vertebrae in the spinal column. This usually doesn’t happen suddenly, but is instead the result of gradual age-related degeneration of the discs. Symptoms of this condition are caused by compression of spinal nerves and include pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness.

Treatment for a collapsed disc typically involves a combination of conservative therapies like medication, spinal injections, physical therapy and lifestyle changes. In certain cases, surgery might be recommended if symptoms are severe and don’t respond to nonsurgical treatment.

Conservative treatments for a collapsed disc

Medications are an extremely common option for treating collapsed disc symptoms. In addition to over-the-counter options, doctors may also suggest prescription strength medications. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, narcotic painkillers and even antidepressants can all be an effective part of a collapsed disc treatment plan.

Along with medications, patients can also explore other conservative therapies, including:

  • Corticosteroid injections
  • Heat and/or ice therapy
  • Stretching
  • Exercise and physical therapy
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Lifestyle changes like improving posture, managing weight, quitting smoking and avoiding high-impact sports

However, if an exhaustive course of conservative methods are unable to provide adequate symptom relief, patients may consider consulting with a spine surgeon. An orthopedic spine surgeon or a neurosurgeon can perform an evaluation to determine if surgery is the right treatment for an individual person.

Surgical treatments for a collapsed disc

In the past, surgical treatment for a collapsed disc would involve a traditional open neck or open back procedure that involved a large incision, overnight hospitalization and a long, often painful, recovery period. Laser Spine Institute offers an alternative with our minimally invasive outpatient spine surgery. By using a less than 1-inch incision and other muscle-sparing techniques, we are able to offer our patients a lower complication rate and a shorter recovery period^ compared to traditional open spine procedures.

Learn more by reaching out to our caring and dedicated team today to receive your no-cost MRI review* that can help determine if you are a candidate for one of our procedures.