Slipped disc diagnosis and treatment

If you have been told you have a slipped disc, it is important to see a qualified medical professional, like your primary care doctor, for diagnosis and treatment. This is because slipped disc is a nonmedical term that can refer to a range of conditions affecting the spinal discs. These discs cushion the vertebrae, allowing the spine to bend and flex, which means they withstand a tremendous amount of pressure. Over time, and due to the natural aging process, the discs can wear out and become displaced, resulting in conditions like bulging or herniated discs.

These conditions can cause painful nerve compression in the spinal column that can result in debilitating symptoms. Treatment for a disc condition is possible, but it is important to work closely with your doctor to receive a precise diagnosis and a personalized treatment plan.

How a doctor diagnoses a slipped disc

When you see your doctor for the diagnosis and treatment of what you think might be a slipped disc, you can expect the following steps:

  • A discussion of your symptoms and painful movements
  • A review of you and your family’s medical history
  • A full physical evaluation including movement tests
  • Diagnostic testing such as bloodwork, X-ray, or MRI

Treatment options for a slipped disc

Once your physician has confirmed diagnosis of the condition that is being referred to as a slipped disc, he or she will likely recommend a course of conservative treatments. These can include:

  • Physical therapy
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Spinal injections
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS)
  • Hot /cold therapy

Additionally your doctor may suggest that you make lifestyle changes that may have contributed to the development of your condition. This might include losing weight to reduce the amount of stress placed on your spine, quitting smoking and limiting alcohol consumption to improve overall health and correcting your posture to relieve spinal stress.

Laser Spine Institute

If your symptoms persist after several weeks or months following your slipped disc diagnosis, and you have followed a course of conservative treatments during this time, your doctor may ask you to consider surgery. If so, contact the team at Laser Spine Institute to learn more about the benefits of minimally invasive spine surgery. Our board-certified surgeons+ use muscle-sparing techniques that allow for a less than 1-inch incision and an outpatient procedure. To learn more, reach out to Laser Spine Institute today.

We can help you receive a free review of your MRI or CT scan* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.