How to treat nerve root compression

How you and your physician decide to treat nerve root compression symptoms will depend on a number of factors, starting with your overall health. If you are in general good health, but have been sidelined in life because of pain and other symptoms related to a compressed spinal nerve root, your treatment options generally are more varied than if your overall health was poor. That said, most people — even those whose general health might not be ideal — can manage the symptoms associated with nerve compression using a regimen of conservative, non-surgical treatment methods.

Non-surgical methods of treatment

The goal of any treatment modality for spinal nerve compression is to mitigate the underlying cause of the compression. In most cases, a degenerative spine condition related to the aging process has given rise to an anatomical abnormality, such as a bone spur or herniated disc. When attempting to mitigate debilitating nerve root compression symptoms, strengthening the core muscles of the body and improving flexibility generally are good places to start. Other methods that a physician or physical therapist might recommend include:

  • Applications of cold sources (ice or cold packs) for inflammation
  • Applications of heat sources to relax muscles and improve blood flow
  • Behavior modification training to improve posture habits
  • Corticosteroid injections to block pain signals

The combination of treatment methods used in the regimen will vary from patient to patient, because no two cases of nerve root compression are alike. It might also require a period of trial and error to determine the precise combination of treatments that works for you.

When surgery becomes an option

One reason people want to find out more about how to treat nerve root compression is that they are eager to avoid spine surgery. However, if conservative treatment methods prove ineffective after several weeks or months, your physician or spine specialist might recommend spine surgery. At Laser Spine Institute, we understand the severe frustration when, after attempting numerous conservative treatments, your quality of life is still compromised. We specialize in minimally invasive decompression and stabilization procedures to address many of the most common causes of nerve root compression. Since 2005, we already have helped more than 75,000 patients who were once in your position. Contact us today to learn more and to request a review of your MRI or CT scan to determine your candidacy for one of our outpatient procedures.