What should I do if I think I have a disc protrusion?

A disc protrusion can occur for a number of reasons. It is important to know what steps you can take if you suspect you have one. The condition will not cause pain in most instances, but if the bulge presses on a nerve root or the spinal cord and you begin to experience pain, you should contact your physician. Typically, symptoms will subside after a few weeks or months, but consulting with your physician may help you determine which treatments are best for you.

One of the first treatments your physician may suggest is proper rest. Sitting and standing for long periods of time will exert pressure on your neck and back and may further aggravate an impinged spinal cord or nerve root. Lying on your back with knees elevated for a few minutes several times each day may help relieve that pressure. Applying an ice pack or cold compress for 20-minute intervals during the initial onset of disc protrusion symptoms can reduce the inflammation around the pinched nerve and muscles. Heat treatments may be applied several days later to aid in relaxing tight muscles and ligaments. If you must sit at a desk or stand on your feet for long periods of time, remember to stretch frequently. Stretching your neck, back, arms and legs will help elongate the vertebrae, and could potentially work loose the pinched nerve.

Other approaches to relieve pain

  • Pain medication – some over-the-counter medication might aid in alleviating your neck or back pain, or your physician may prescribe medication.
  • Exercise – In addition to stretching, some exercises may ease symptoms. Yoga, particularly the body alignment-focused hatha yoga, can help develop body awareness while improving posture. You should consult with your physician before beginning any new exercise program, especially when you’re experiencing neck or back pain, as certain exercises may make your condition worse.

Laser Spine Institute

If your disc protrusion is causing you unending pain, contact Laser Spine Institute for your MRI or CT scan review. Our advanced techniques allow our orthopedic surgeons to perform minimally invasive procedures to treat neck and back pain.