So you've received a herniated disc diagnosis. Now what?
Once you have received a herniated disc diagnosis, you should start to consider treatment options. When a herniated disc occurs, the inner jelly of the disc breaks through the tough outer shell and leaks into the spinal canal. If the inner fluid from a herniated disc impacts a nerve root in the spinal canal, you may experience uncomfortable symptoms, including pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness. What normally acts as a cushion between the individual bones — or vertebrae — can irritate, compress or “pinch” a nerve. Whether the condition is caused by a traumatic injury or the natural aging process, you’ll want a treatment that focuses on reducing inflammation and decompresses the disc.
Conservative and alternative treatments
After diagnosing a herniated disc, most physicians begin treatment for the condition with conservative, noninvasive methods. This may include one or more of the following:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
- Hot/cold therapy
- Physical therapy
- Periods of intermittent rest
Some patients may choose to take an alternative, holistic approach to their treatment. Popular alternative therapies include acupuncture, chiropractic manipulation, the use of herbs and dietary supplements, deep tissue massage, restorative yoga and Pilates. It is important to note that you should always consult your physician before beginning any drug or exercise program.
In the event that several weeks or months of conservative or alternative treatment prove ineffective, a physician may recommend surgery. Laser Spine Institute offers a number of minimally invasive alternatives to traditional open neck or back surgery. By making only a small incision, the board-certified surgeons+ at Laser Spine Institute can reduce the risk of infection and spare the muscles from being cut or torn. The surgery is performed on an outpatient basis and requires no lengthy recovery.^ It is important to note that you should always consult your physician before beginning any drug or exercise program.
If you have been diagnosed with a herniated disc and are considering surgical treatment, contact us to learn more about our minimally invasive procedures. Call now for your MRI review to see if you are a candidate for surgery at Laser Spine Institute.