What are the treatment options for a slipped disc in the back?

A slipped disc in your back can be a painful condition, with symptoms usually resulting when the displaced portion of the disc comes into contact with a spinal nerve. Symptoms of pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness can cause both local pain and radiating symptoms into your extremities, making your daily activities difficult.

While most instances of back pain are due to a muscle strain or ligament sprain, you may be experiencing a slipped disc if your discomfort occurs intermittently over weeks, is worse after long periods of inactivity or does not diminish over time.

Slipped disc is actually a nonmedical term that can refer to a number of disc-related conditions, but it often is used to describe a herniated disc. See your doctor for diagnosis and treatment if you think your symptoms are related to a slipped disc or another spine condition.

Conservative treatments for a slipped disc

If your physician conducts a physical exam, reviews your medical history and runs imaging scans like an MRI or CT scan on the spine and determines that a slipped disc is the source of your discomfort, he or she will likely prescribe a combination of conservative treatment options including:

  • Physical therapy
  • Gentle stretching
  • Low-impact exercise
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
  • Hot/cold compresses
  • Cortisone injections

What surgical options do I have?

Many patients with a slipped disc in their back will have success managing their symptoms with nonsurgical treatments, but surgery may be considered if they do not allow for a comfortable return to everyday activity. For many years, the only approach to slipped disc surgery was a traditional open spine surgery performed in a hospital. This type of procedure involves a large incision, disruption of tissues, hospitalization and a typically difficult recovery.

However, advances in medical technology and surgical techniques have allowed for a less invasive approach to the spine. By using a less than 1-inch incision and other muscle-sparing techniques, Laser Spine Institute offers minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine procedures.^

To find out if you are a candidate for this type of slipped disc treatment, contact Laser Spine Institute today for a no-cost MRI review.*