Three common treatment methods available for herniated nucleus pulposus
Herniated nucleus pulposus treatment comes in many forms. Although having a damaged spinal disc might sound like a scary diagnosis, it’s actually a relatively common occurrence. While the symptoms that a ruptured spinal disc can cause can be severe, many people suffering from this condition have found that they can effectively manage their pain without the need for surgery. There are different combinations of treatments, and each combination may have slightly different results for each person. That’s why it’s best to consult with your physician to find the most promising approach in your particular case.
Generally speaking, your physician will likely recommend that you start some of the most common treatment methods, then adjust your plan as needed.
Treatment No. 1: Making lifestyle changes
Sometimes, kicking a bad habit or forming a good one can be a catalyst for successful symptom management. Although they may not be entirely successful in reducing symptoms by themselves, the following methods can help improve the overall health of the spine:
- Eating a nutritious diet
- Getting regular, low-impact physical activity
- Avoiding high-impact activities that can jar the spine (running, skiing, etc.)
- Quitting tobacco use (as appropriate)
- Losing excess weight (as appropriate)
Treatment No. 2: Medication
Pain relievers and anti-inflammatory medications can often be useful in controlling symptoms of a herniated nucleus pulposus. Treatment usually consists of over-the-counter medications, but there are also prescriptions available to counter the pain, relax muscle spasms and alleviate other symptoms. Medications are often seen as a complement to other treatment methods because managing pain can often allow patients to undertake the physical activity that may improve their overall well-being.
Treatment No. 3: Physical therapy
Physical therapists can help target the elements of the spine surrounding the affected disc, strengthening them and improving their flexibility to take some stress off the spine. Performing certain stretches may help temporarily alleviate the pressure that the damaged disc has placed on a surrounding nerve as well, stopping symptoms on a short-term basis.
If you’re wondering about surgery, it is a potential treatment approach for people who have undergone nonsurgical herniated nucleus pulposus treatment for weeks or months without noticing an improvement. If your symptoms are severe enough to impact your ability to work or maintain your preferred lifestyle, surgery may be an appropriate option. Contact Laser Spine Institute today to learn about our minimally invasive spine surgery, a safer and effective approach to spine surgery. ^