Treatments for a herniated disc
Living with the pain and symptoms of a herniated disc can be both mentally and physically exhausting. Activities that were once fun and relaxing may now be painful or impossible to complete altogether. You may have even noticed an overall decline in your quality of life, with the symptoms and pain continually worsening.
For many patients, the pain will only worsen without medical treatment. If you are suffering from chronic pain caused by a herniated disc, it is important that you schedule an appointment with your doctor to talk about the cause of your herniated disc and the treatment options available to you. Maybe you’ve been avoiding this conversation because you think the only treatment option is spine surgery. However, a large number of patients with a herniated disc are able to find lasting pain relief from conservative nonsurgical treatments like physical therapy and lifestyle changes.
Treatment options for a herniated disc
Often, a doctor will recommend a series of conservative treatments as the first round of defense against the pain of a herniated disc. These nonsurgical treatments are designed to relieve the pressure on the pinched nerve that is causing your pain; this is done by stretching the spine to realign the herniated disc and strengthening the surrounding muscles to better hold the spine in place. Some effective methods of conservative treatment include:
- Physical therapy
- Chiropractic care
- Lifestyle changes like exercise, weight loss and quitting smoking
- Hot/cold application at the site of the nerve compression
- Stretching exercises for flexibility
- Strength training to improve core strength
- Corticosteroid injections
- Pain or anti-inflammatory medication
Your doctor can help you combine treatments to increase your overall pain relief. You should always consult your doctor before starting or changing your treatment to ensure you are safe and healthy.
When to consider spine surgery
If conservative treatment methods do not give you lasting pain relief after several months of therapy, surgery can become an option. Patients in this situation should contact Laser Spine Institute and ask about our minimally invasive spine surgery to treat herniated discs.
Our minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures reduce the risks of infection and other complications compared to traditional open back surgery.^ We do this by using techniques that are muscle-sparing and do not involve the large incision and detachment of surrounding muscles that are required during traditional procedures.