Before you can decide which methods of HNP treatment are right for you, it’s important to understand the term. A herniated nucleus pulposus (HNP) means the gel-like center of an intervertebral disc has leaked through a fissure in the fibrous outer disc wall. This can be a natural result of the aging process, but the condition often remains asymptomatic. In fact, many people have a herniated disc and never even know it because the herniation can heal itself through a process known as resorption. However, when extruded inner disc material compresses an adjacent nerve root, symptoms such as pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness can develop. In these cases, HNP treatment becomes necessary.
Conservative forms of HNP treatment
More often than not, the symptoms associated with nerve compression produced by an HNP can be managed through the use of conservative treatment methods. These methods include:
- Over-the-counter or prescription pain medication
- Physical therapy
- Targeted exercise
- Behavior modification
- HNP alternative treatments such as chiropractic therapy and acupuncture
- Corticosteroid epidural injections
Minimally invasive alternative
If conservative HNP treatment proves ineffective after several weeks or months, a doctor might suggest surgery as an option. Rather than settle for highly disruptive and risky open neck or back surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how one of our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures can help you find relief from your neck and back pain.