Slipped disc treatment includes conservative and surgical options

By Michael Perry, M.D.

Slipped Disc

Slipped disc treatment options fall into two main categories: conservative and surgical. Before most patients with symptoms related to a slipped disc consider surgery, the available conservative methods usually are attempted. Slipped disc symptoms typically result from spinal nerve compression, which can give rise to neck pain, back pain and radiating pain, tingling, numbness and/or muscle weakness in the extremities. Following the diagnosis, doctors generally will suggest a brief period of rest to allow any inflammation to subside. Other forms of treatment will generally be recommended based on individual factors like the severity of the condition, age and overall state of health. The following overview is intended to help you make an informed decision about your treatment, especially if you are trying to decide if surgery may be the best course of action for you.

Conservative treatment options for a slipped disc

Conservative slipped disc treatment options are prescribed to help manage pain while patients are simultaneously taking steps to improve spine health, flexibility and the strength of supporting muscles. A slipped disc, which is a common nonmedical term often, used to describe a herniated disc, can improve itself over time in some cases. In the interim, typical conservative treatments include.

  • Nonsteroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Prescription or over-the-counter pain medication
  • Exercise to strengthen supporting muscles
  • Gentle stretching to increase flexibility
  • Lifestyle changes like weight management, quitting smoking or improving posture
  • Physical therapy
  • Hot/cold therapy
  • Corticosteroid injections

Some patients might also turn to alternative treatment methods, such as chiropractic adjustments and acupuncture. If chronic symptoms persist after several weeks or months of conservative treatment, surgery might be recommended.

When to consider slipped disc surgery

There are two main approaches to spine surgery for the treatment of disc conditions: traditional open neck or back procedures and minimally invasive procedures. Laser Spine Institute provides minimally invasive spine surgery as a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures, offering our patients less risk of complication and no lengthy recovery.^ Since 2005 we have been able to help more than 75,000 patients find relief from neck or back pain with our outpatient procedures. To learn about the minimally invasive slipped disc treatment options offered by Laser Spine Institute, contact us today.

Our dedicated team can help you receive a no-cost MRI review* to find out if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.