Steps after receiving a herniated disc diagnosis
Like many other patients who have recently been diagnosed with a herniated disc, you may be wondering what your next steps are for pain relief. It is common to question how you should begin your journey on the road to recovery. However, choosing between conservative therapy and surgical intervention can quickly become overwhelming for patients with limited background on their condition.
That’s why it is important to schedule an appointment with your doctor or spine care specialist to talk about the treatment options available to you and create a plan of action. You should also take this time to research both conservative and surgical treatment options to find pain relief. As you research the types of surgery available to you, we encourage you to contact our team with any questions regarding your condition.
Conservative herniated disc treatments
While you will need to work alongside your doctor to find your optimal treatment regimen, there are some nonsurgical herniated disc treatments that are generally recommended for most patients. These treatments include:
- Pain medication. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen and naproxen, can help reduce inflammation and alleviate the pain caused by a herniated disc. If you have certain cardiovascular or gastrointestinal conditions, your doctor may advise you to take a pain medication, such as acetaminophen, instead.
- Hot and cold therapy. Applying heat to your neck or back can reduce muscle tension that may be contributing to your discomfort, while applying ice can help reduce inflammation and numb pain. Your doctor may advise you to treat your herniated disc by applying heat and ice alternately or instruct you to use one method exclusively.
- Lifestyle modifications. If you are overweight, use tobacco products or drink alcohol excessively, your doctor may recommend that you alter your lifestyle. Reversing unhealthy habits can not only aid in healing your herniated disc but can also help prevent other degenerative spine conditions from developing in the future.
Know when to consider herniated disc surgery
Your doctor may recommend surgical treatment for a herniated disc if nonsurgical treatments prove ineffective after several weeks or months. In the event that you are advised to undergo spine surgery, consider a minimally invasive procedure from Laser Spine Institute before you consent to an open spine operation. Our procedures offer a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery.^
The difference between our minimally invasive spine surgery and traditional open neck or back surgery is the approach to the spine. Our procedures require only a small incision and no muscle disruption, while traditional open spine surgery is performed through a large incision that cuts through the large muscles surrounding the spine. Because of our minimally invasive approach, our procedures offer a shorter recovery time and lower risk of complication compared to traditional open spine surgery.^
Many of our patients with a herniated disc can often be treated with minimally invasive decompression. This type of procedure relieves pressure on the pinched nerve by using a less than 1-inch incision to remove a portion of the damaged disc. In some cases, a minimally invasive stabilization surgery may be necessary to replace the disc with an artificial one. This adds stability to the spine.
It’s time to take the next step on your journey to pain relief. Reach out to Laser Spine Institute for a free review of your MRI report or CT scan* to determine if you are a candidate for one of our minimally invasive procedures. Since 2005, we have helped more than 75,000 patients find lasting relief from their chronic neck or back conditions. Let us help you recapture your quality of life from your herniated disc.