Disc extrusion treatment options

A spinal disc extrusion can lead to substantial neck or back pain, and there are many treatment options available that can help reduce the symptoms of this common degenerative spine condition. Also commonly referred to as a herniated disc or a ruptured disc, a disc extrusion occurs when the outer wall of a spinal disc ruptures, allowing the inner contents to escape into the spinal canal.

Millions of people develop herniated discs, though it is more common in those over the age of 50 because of the constant stress the spine is put under during everyday life. Eventually, the constant pressure can wear down spinal discs, which serve as the spine’s shock absorbers, and cause a disc extrusion. A disc extrusion most commonly occurs in the lumbar spine (lower back), but is also fairly common in the cervical spine (neck).

Disc extrusion symptoms

While some patients who seek treatment for a disc extrusion may experience localized pain due to the tear in the spinal disc wall, the most common symptoms are a product of the inner contents of a ruptured spinal disc putting pressure on a spinal nerve root or the spinal cord. These symptoms can include:

  • Localized pain in the affected area of the spine
  • Pain that radiates along a compressed nerve
  • Stiffness
  • Muscle weakness
  • Numbness or tingling

Treatment for a disc extrusion

The good news, if you are suffering from a disc extrusion, is that there are many treatment options that may help reduce your symptoms and allow you to live your life relatively pain-free. Your physician may suggest several popular conservative treatments such as:

  • Hot and cold compresses
  • Prescription or over-the-counter pain and anti-inflammatory medications
  • Stretching and strengthening exercises
  • Analgesic pain patches
  • Epidural steroid injections

Many patients also consider alternative and complementary treatment options, such as:

  • Acupuncture
  • Acupressure
  • Chiropractic care
  • Supplements
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Yoga

In some cases, however, conservative and alternative treatments may not result in a reduction of symptoms, and surgery may need to be considered. Traditional open neck or back surgery is highly invasive, generally requiring a hospital stay and several months of rehabilitation.

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer a variety of minimally invasive surgical procedures and have helped more than 60,000 patients since 2005. To receive a no-cost MRI review* and find out if you are a candidate for our outpatient procedures, contact us today.