Alternative treatments for discogenic pain relief

Discogenic pain is pain that originates in a damaged spinal disc, including herniated discs, torn discs and degenerative discs.

For many patients, discogenic pain develops gradually as the discs in the spine begin to break down due to natural age-related changes. The symptoms often begin mildly and become more severe over time if left untreated. While conservative treatments like medication, rest, exercise and hot/cold therapy are often very effective in relieving discogenic pain, they don’t work for everyone.

Alternative treatments, which are defined as therapies outside of the medical mainstream, are attempted by patients with discogenic pain both to complement an existing conventional plan or as a last resort before considering surgery. Learning more about the full range of alternative treatment options can help you make a more confident and informed decision about your care.

Overview of alternative treatments for discogenic pain

If you are seeking alternative treatment for discogenic pain, it is recommended to stay in partnership with your primary care doctor while you do. These therapies can range from traditional practices to experimental techniques and it is important to make sure that anything you attempt is compatible with your current treatment and state of health. You can also ask your doctor if he or she can recommend a reputable alternative practitioner.

Some common alternative treatment methods include:

  • Biofeedback. This is a type of relaxation training, based on learned behavior modification. It addresses chronic pain by attempting to teach control of physiological reactions, such as muscle tension, body temperature, heart rate and brain wave activity. Mental and physical exercises, visualization and deep breathing are used to help redirect the body’s physical reactions to pain.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy. This is a form of psychotherapy with a focus on how one’s thoughts cause feelings and behaviors, with less emphasis on external factors such as other people, situations, events and our environment.
  • Acupuncture. This practice is rooted in traditional Chinese medicine and involves the careful insertion of thin needles throughout the body. Some modern research suggests acupuncture may be effective by stimulating blood flow and the release of pain-killing endorphins.
  • Herbal remedies. Some naturally occurring substances are believed to have pain-killing and anti-inflammatory properties, including St. John’s wort, valerian root and turmeric.

When to consider surgery for discogenic pain

Alternative treatments and mainstream conservative treatments such as pain medication and exercise are not always enough to manage discogenic pain and other symptoms. If you are still searching for pain relief after you’ve exhausted all conservative and alternative treatments, contact Laser Spine Institute.

At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive spine surgery that helps treat common spine conditions like degenerative disc disease without the increased risk of complication and extended recovery times^ associated with traditional open neck or open back surgery.

To learn more about our minimally invasive spine surgery, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We can provide a no-cost review your MRI or CT scan* to help you find out if you are a candidate for one of our procedures.