Ruptured disc treatment options
If you are experiencing shooting pains in your neck or back, as well as muscle spasms, weakness, numbness and tingling in your arms or legs, you may be wondering about your options for relief. The condition occurs when a cartilaginous disc in between the vertebrae of the spine weakens and cracks open. This can cause the inner gel-like center to leak into the spinal canal. While the condition may not cause pain in every case, symptoms can manifest if the extruded disc material irritates the disc or compresses the spinal cord or nerve root. To learn about the steps for ruptured disc relief, read on.
First steps for relieving a ruptured disc
There are a number of initial treatments that may relieve your ruptured disc symptoms, but the first step should always be to consult your doctor, who can verify that you have a disc rupture and then determine what treatment options may be helpful for you. Your doctor may recommend conservative remedies, which could include the following:
- Rest. A ruptured disc, also known as a torn or herniated disc, can often heal on its own over the course of several weeks or months. Given enough time, the material can shrink back into the space it normally occupies between two vertebrae, which can relieve pressure from the spinal cord or nerve root.
- Hot and cold therapy. A compressed nerve root can cause irritation and inflammation of the nerve and the surrounding tissues. Typically, the use of ice packs or cold compresses for 20-minute intervals several times a day may numb the area and calm inflammation within the first 48 hours. After a few days, alternating cold therapy and heating pads or warm baths may help relieve muscle tension.
- Over-the-counter pain medication. Medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen may help relieve the pain and discomfort caused by a ruptured disc and reduce inflammation in the affected area.
If your ruptured disc symptoms persist
If pain, weakness, numbness, cramping and tingling caused by a ruptured disc continue even after several weeks or months of conservative treatments, you should research the surgical options available to you. For instance, Laser Spine Institute offers several minimally invasive procedures that may help alleviate your symptoms. To learn what sets Laser Spine Institute apart as the leader in minimally invasive spine surgery, contact us today.
At Laser Spine Institute, our board-certified+ surgeons use muscle sparing techniques and small incisions to precisely remove herniated disc tissue and release trapped nerves. If you are interested in finding out if you are a potential candidate for our outpatient ruptured disc procedures, reach out to our dedicated team today and ask for a free MRI review.* We can help you recapture your quality of life from this debilitating condition.