Treating annular tear symptoms

Annular tears are ruptures of the tough outer wall of a spinal disc. This is also another way to refer to a herniated disc, which is a common degenerative spine condition among people who are middle-aged or older. The spine is subjected to a wide range of stress-inducing movement over time, while simultaneously supporting most of the body’s weight. Through the normal aging process, discs made up of an outer layer and a gel-like center begin to lose water content and become brittle.

Eventually, the outer wall could bulge and begin to split, allowing seepage of the nucleus material into the spinal canal. If the torn outer wall or extruded inner material comes into contact with the spinal cord or an adjacent nerve root, symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness can occur. If this is the case, read the following article to learn about the conservative treatments and surgical options available to relieve your condition.

Conservative annular tear treatments

More often than not, symptoms associated with annular tears can be managed conservatively. There are many conservative treatment methods available, including:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and other pain medications — to control the pain until nerve inflammation subsides
  • Physical therapy, exercise and stretching — under the guidance of a trained therapist, to help strengthen the particular portion of the body affected by nerve compression symptoms
  • Alternative medicine — like chiropractic therapy, acupuncture and other medicinal systems that operate outside the medical mainstream and have helped people find relief from their symptoms

When conservative treatment is not enough for an annular tear

More often than not, symptoms associated with annular tears will become manageable or even subside altogether after several weeks or months of conservative treatment. However, if chronic pain persists, contact Laser Spine Institute and ask for a free MRI review* to learn if one of our minimally invasive procedures would be effective in helping you find relief from chronic neck and back pain.

At Laser Spine Institute, our highly skilled surgeons use a small incision that is muscle sparing in order to provide a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery, as well as no lengthy recovery and a lower risk of complication.^ To find out if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient surgery, reach out to our dedicated team today. We are here to help guide you through your journey to wellness.