Annular tear alternative treatment

An annular tear is a rip in the outer layer of a spinal disc caused by a degenerative disc disease or other degenerative spine condition. If you are experiencing this pain, you should schedule an appointment with your physician to determine the best treatment option to reduce your symptoms.

Living with chronic neck or back pain can prevent you from living the lifestyle you enjoy. Simple tasks like cleaning or walking the dog may become unnecessarily difficult or, in some cases, impossible to complete due to the debilitating pain of an annular tear in your disc. If you have found yourself missing out on hobbies in life due to neck or back pain, then it’s time for you to start researching the treatment options available to you for neck and back pain.

Many patients associate treatment for neck or back pain with spine surgery. While spine surgery is one form of treatment, there are several conservative, nonsurgical treatments available to most patients. In fact, many patients with a degenerative spine condition such as an annular tear find effective relief through nonsurgical treatments. Your physician will determine the location and severity of your condition and use that information to recommend the best treatment options for your needs.

Types of nonsurgical treatment for an annular tear

Many times, patients diagnosed with an annular tear are recommended to undergo conservative treatments, such as physical therapy, chiropractic care, yoga or lifestyle changes like weight loss and exercise. The purpose of these treatments is to relieve the pressure on the vertebrae so the damaged disc can begin to heal and repair. By reducing the pressure on the disc, the disc can also move back into alignment and the impacted nerve root in the spinal canal will be released.

Conservative treatments can often be combined with other therapies and medications to further reduce your pain and symptoms. Your physician may recommend that you add one of the following treatments to your physical therapy or lifestyle change regimen:

  • Dietary supplements or herbal medicines — to improve overall health
  • Massage therapy — to improve spinal alignment and relax the supporting musculature
  • Yoga or meditation — to relax the neck and back and relieve stress
  • Acupuncture — to stimulate different areas of the body through the use of hair-thin needles
  • Pain medication — used to relieve pain by suppressing the pain sensors near the spine

More advanced treatment options

While many patients find relief from conservative treatments for an annular tear, your condition may be more advanced and the conservative treatments may not provide you with any lasting pain relief. If you find yourself still in pain after several months of nonsurgical therapy, we encourage you to reach out to the spine care experts at Laser Spine Institute.

We offer several types of minimally invasive surgery to treat an annular tear. Our minimally invasive procedures offer a safer and effective treatment alternative to traditional open back or open neck surgery, and our patients experience a shorter recovery time.^

For more information about the benefits of our minimally invasive procedures, please contact us and request a review of your MRI report. Our spine care experts can review your condition and help guide you to the best treatment options available to you.