What is the treatment for a lumbar disc extrusion?

A lumbar disc extrusion isn’t an uncommon occurrence, so if you’ve been diagnosed with one, remember that there are various treatment approaches for you to try.

Conservative treatments

Conservative treatment methods are nonsurgical in nature, and they’re the first line of defense for most people who have disc extrusion issues. Although these methods might not treat the disc directly, they can help alleviate the pressure that misplaced disc material has placed on surrounding nerve roots. Because the compression of nerve roots can cause acute pain, burning and numbness among other symptoms, these approaches can help to significantly reduce discomfort.

Some commonly recommended treatments include:

  • Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Stretching regularly
  • Applying heat or ice to painful or inflamed areas
  • Attending physical therapy sessions

Making lifestyle changes

In many cases, making long-term changes to your lifestyle can also help with your lumbar disc extrusion, as well as improve your overall health. If you are overweight, shedding the extra pounds can help alleviate some of the pressure placed on your spine and potentially improve your symptoms. If you use tobacco products, quitting is also a smart idea for your body as a whole. This can improve circulation to your back, where many of the spine’s components are already slow to heal. Smoking cessation is also a critical requirement if you ever elect to have disc extrusion surgery down the road because tobacco use before or after surgery can have a major impact on how the body heals.

Considering surgery

For many people with extruded discs, surgery isn’t necessary. Discs can often heal on their own if given time, and conservative treatments are highly effective at reducing symptoms in the meantime. In some cases, however, the body doesn’t respond as well as expected to these measures, so symptoms can remain the same or become worse.

If you’ve tried conservative disc extrusion treatment methods and lifestyle changes but haven’t experienced the relief from symptoms that you need, surgery may be an appropriate option. When considering extruded disc surgery, be sure that you investigate your options. Laser Spine Institute’s minimally invasive spine surgery is often the clinically appropriate first choice and provides many advantages versus open neck or back surgery.^ Our surgery requires no lengthy recovery^ and is performed on an outpatient basis.

To learn if you’re a candidate for our spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today.