What a herniated disc in the lower back is, and how to treat it
A herniated disc is a disc in the spine that has been damaged and torn due to constant pressure placed on the spine. This type of condition is often considered a degenerative disc disease, which means that the damage occurs gradually as the spine weakens with age. Certain factors, such as obesity, inactivity and chronic dehydration, can contribute to the development of a herniated disc. This condition can also occur after trauma or injury has caused a spinal disc to tear.
If you think you have a herniated disc that is causing pain and symptoms in your lower back, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Your doctor will run a series of tests to confirm a diagnosis and then will discuss the nonsurgical and surgical treatment options available to you to help relieve your pain.
Nonsurgical treatments for a herniated disc
The first approach to treat a herniated disc is often a series of doctor-recommended conservative treatments. Conservative treatments are nonsurgical methods that aim to relieve pain by reducing inflammation, alleviating pressure on the pinched nerve and blocking the nerve from sending pain signals to the brain. The most common methods of conservative treatments include:
- Physical therapy
- Pain medication
- Low-impact exercises
- Weight loss
- Lifestyle changes
- Hot/cold compresses
- Corticosteroid injections
While many patients find relief from several months of conservative treatment, some patients are recommended to undergo spine surgery to treat the pain of their herniated disc.
Surgical treatment for a herniated disc
At Laser Spine Institute, we offer minimally invasive spine surgery as an alternative to traditional open back surgery to treat a herniated disc and other common spine conditions. Specifically used to treat a herniated disc, our minimally invasive discectomy procedure is performed through a less than 1-inch incision using muscle-sparing techniques. This is opposed to traditional open back surgery, which uses a large incision and cuts through the muscles surrounding the spine.
Because of our minimally invasive approach to spine surgery, our patients can experience a shorter recovery time^ and lower risk of complications compared to patients who choose traditional open back surgery. To find out if you are a candidate for our minimally invasive procedures that can treat a herniated disc, contact us today and request a no-cost MRI review.*