Discogenic back pain – overview and treatment options

Discogenic back pain is a term used to describe symptoms associated with a disorder of a spinal disc. It can be caused by a herniated disc or a bulging disc, each of which frequently results from gradual disc deterioration that occurs with age. Disc issues like these are fairly common and do not always produce symptoms.

However, if a displaced portion of the outer disc wall or extruded inner material comes into contact with the disc’s own nerves, nerve roots in the spinal column or the spinal cord, symptoms such as localized pain, radiating pain, tingling, numbness and muscle weakness can occur. If these symptoms are affecting your life because of a disc-related condition, learning more about discogenic back pain can help you make a treatment decision that can get you back to the activities you’ve been missing.

Nonsurgical treatment for discogenic back pain

In many cases, symptoms associated with a disc disorder can be managed using conservative, nonsurgical methods. In some situations, the discs can heal themselves. For example, herniated inner disc material can be absorbed back into the bloodstream in a process called resorption. This can take time though and pain can become debilitating during the healing process.

Upon diagnosing a condition causing discogenic back pain, physicians will usually prescribe methods like the following to help manage symptoms:

  • Stretching
  • Exercise
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage
  • Chiropractic therapy
  • Pain medicine
  • Epidural steroid injections

When conservative treatment is not enough

However, if chronic discogenic back pain persists despite weeks or months of conservative treatment, surgery may become an option. Rather than undergoing highly invasive traditional open back surgery, tens of thousands of patients have found relief at Laser Spine Institute.

Our surgeons perform minimally invasive outpatient procedures that can help you find lasting relief from back pain. By using a small muscle-sparing incision to access the spine, these procedures offer a shorter recovery time,^ allowing our patients to get back to their lives faster than with traditional spine surgery.

Contact Laser Spine Institute for your no-cost MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.