Performing household chores if you have a bulging disc
If you’ve been diagnosed with a herniated disc, finding the best treatments for your condition is probably one of your top priorities. Depending on the location and severity of your herniated disc, there are several treatment options available to help reduce your pain and symptoms.
The first step to finding effective treatment is to consult your doctor about your pain. Your physician or spine care specialist can make treatment recommendations based not only on your condition, but also on your medical history and lifestyle. Treatments for a herniated disc generally range from conservative to surgical in nature.
Medication for a herniated disc
Over-the-counter medications such as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and pain relievers are some of the most effective and common forms of herniated disc treatment. NSAIDs, including ibuprofen and naproxen, interfere with the body’s production of certain inflammation-inducing enzymes, which can help relieve the pain, numbness, tingling and muscle weakness that are often associated with herniated discs. Some patients are unable to take NSAIDs due to gastrointestinal or cardiovascular conditions and may be advised to take a pain reliever instead, such as acetaminophen.
If over-the-counter medications fail to relieve your symptoms, your doctor may prescribe a narcotic pain reliever or muscle relaxant.
Lifestyle changes to treat a herniated disc
Your doctor may also recommend herniated disc treatments that involve healthy life changes. This is generally recommended for patients who:
- Are overweight — losing excess body weight can help reduce the strain that is being placed on your spine.
- Use tobacco products — avoiding the harmful substances found in tobacco products can increase the amount of nutrient- and oxygen-rich blood that flows to your spine
- Are sedentary — starting an exercise program under your doctor’s guidance can help strengthen and stretch the muscles and ligaments that support the spine
Surgery for a herniated disc
If medication, lifestyle changes and other nonsurgical herniated disc treatments prove ineffective after several weeks or months, your doctor may recommend spine surgery.
Before consenting to traditional open spine surgery, consider a minimally invasive, outpatient procedure from Laser Spine Institute. We perform minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative to traditional open neck or back procedures, offering our patients a shorter recovery time and less risk of complication.^
Contact Laser Spine Institute to learn more about our muscle-sparing procedures that have helped thousands of patients find relief from neck and back pain. We can help you receive a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.