Nonsurgical treatments for a slipped disc can be effective

Nonsurgical options to treat pain and impaired movement caused by a slipped disc are usually recommended before any surgery becomes a consideration. This is both due to the risks and difficulties associated with traditional open spine surgery and the effectiveness of conservative treatments. As a result, many patients diagnosed with this condition are able to find lasting pain relief and return to normal activities without the need for surgery.

What is a slipped disc?

The term slipped disc often refers to a herniated disc, a condition that occurs when the outer wall of a spinal disc ruptures, allowing inner disc material to be pushed out into the spinal column, potentially compressing surrounding nerves. Usually caused by age-related degeneration, a slipped disc can also result from a traumatic injury to the spine. Common symptoms include local pain, as well as shooting pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness in the arms or legs.

Nonsurgical treatment options

Typically, doctors will begin treatment for a slipped disc with a course of one or more conservative, nonsurgical approaches, such as:

  • General lifestyle changes to improve spinal health, such as weight loss, increased physical activity, reduced alcohol consumption and ceasing tobacco use
  • Physical therapy designed to stretch and strengthen the muscles that support the neck and back and to address movement issues that may be contributing to symptoms
  • Over-the-counter nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain
  • Hot/cold therapy to relax tense muscles and relieve inflammation

Minimally invasive surgical options

If you have been diagnosed with a slipped disc and are unable to find sufficient relief after exhausting nonsurgical treatment options for a slipped disc, surgical intervention may be recommended. At Laser Spine Institute, our minimally invasive spine surgery is an alternative to traditional procedures, offering our patients less risk of complication and a shorter recovery time comparatively.

To learn more, contact our dedicated team of Spine Care Consultants today for a no-cost MRI review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures.