Prescription drug treatments for ruptured discs

By Michael Perry, M.D.

Prescription drug treatments for ruptured discs are used for severe cases of a ruptured disc, also called a herniated disc. Over-the-counter medications are typically recommended first, but if they do not relieve your pain, the option for prescription drugs may be explored.

If your life is affected by ruptured disc pain, and the pain is severe enough to keep you from simple things — like walking your dog or working in the kitchen — taking prescription medication with conservative treatments helps many patients get back to a better quality of life.

Overview of ruptured discs

When a disc becomes damaged, the outer layer, called the annulus fibrosus, can rupture and allow its jellylike inner core, called the nucleus pulpous, to enter into the spinal canal. If this occurs, the nucleus may put pressure on nearby nerve roots or the spinal cord, which can then cause local and radiating pain to the extremities.

Diagnosing a ruptured disc can be difficult because symptoms of neck and back pain, numbness, weakness and tingling in the arms or legs can resemble those of other conditions. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your health care provider. Upon diagnosis, he or she can prescribe the best course of treatment for your condition.

Prescription drug treatments for ruptured discs

In some cases, patients may not respond to mild conservative treatments, so a physician may suggest prescription drug treatments for ruptured discs. He or she can suggest various medications as part of your treatment plan, including:

  • Muscle relaxants
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antidepressants
  • Opioids
  • Hydrocodone and acetaminophen combination
  • Neuropathic pain medications
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

It is extremely important to follow the recommended dosage and instruction provided by your primary care physician for any medication prescribed.

If weeks or months of prescription drug treatments and nonsurgical options do not relieve your severe pain, you and your doctor may start exploring surgical options. If you are concerned about some of the risks that come along with traditional open back surgery, there is another option available — minimally invasive spine surgery at Laser Spine Institute. Our procedures can treat a ruptured disc using a less than 1-inch incision. With a quicker recuperation period^ than other procedures, like traditional open spine surgery, Laser Spine Institute’s state-of-the-art procedures can help you find lasting relief from neck and back pain.

Contact us today for a no-cost review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you are a potential candidate for our minimally invasive outpatient procedures.