Six common treatments for a ruptured disc

A ruptured disc, also called a herniated disc, occurs when soft inner disc material pushes through a crack or tear in the tougher outer layer. While this condition can cause local irritation, patients seeking ruptured disc treatment are often in pain because disc material is causing nerve compression that results in debilitating symptoms.

While there is no substitute for a strong partnership with your doctor, we hope the following guide to basic ruptured disc treatment options can help you be more engaged with this process as you seek lasting relief.

Regularly recommended ruptured disc treatments

You can expect to find the following conservative therapies commonly included in ruptured disc treatment plans:

  1. Rest. While you should avoid being overly sedentary, getting short periods of rest can reduce the stress being placed on the spine and help with the healing process.
  2. Hot and cold therapy. Alternating use of a heat source, like a heating pad or hot towel, and a cold pack works to relax tense muscles and reduce inflammation respectively.
  3. Low-impact exercise. Along with getting needed rest, it is just as important to stay active as it helps to strengthen the spine, improve flexibility and promote cardiovascular health. Good exercises for ruptured discs and other spine conditions include yoga, water aerobics, Pilates and walking.
  4. Over-the-counter medication. Patients can often find sufficient relief from over-the-counter pain or anti-inflammatory medicine without the need for prescription-strength drugs.
  5. Physical therapy. In some cases, you may be recommended to see a physical therapist for sessions that can help improve posture and range of motion, while taking pressure off of the spinal discs.
  6. Spinal injections. Injections of a corticosteroid and a numbing agent can help to relieve pain and inflammation for a period of time, sometimes allowing patients to follow a physical therapy and/or exercise plan that they may otherwise have been unable to complete.

When should you consider spine surgery?

In many cases, lasting relief can be achieved by following a ruptured disc treatment plan that includes options like the ones listed above. Spine surgery can be an effective treatment, but it is usually reserved for patients who have attempted weeks and months of conservative therapies without experiencing sufficient improvement in symptoms.

To learn more about ruptured disc treatment, including our minimally invasive spine surgery, reach out to Laser Spine Institute today. Our procedures are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back surgery^ and have helped thousands of patients since 2005.

We’ll be happy to help you receive a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.