What should I do if I think I have a herniated disc?

If you suspect your neck or back pain might be the result of a herniated disc, see your physician as soon as possible. A symptomatic herniated disc may heal on its own through a process known as resorption, but chronic pain, tingling, numbness or muscle weakness should not be ignored. The first thing your physician will do is ask a series of diagnostic questions related to the severity, origin and duration of your symptoms. If a diagnosis of nerve compression is made, you’ll likely begin treatment with a variety of conservative methods.

Conservative treatment for symptoms associated with a herniated disc

A wide range of nonsurgical treatment options are available for herniated disc patients, including:

  • Over-the-counter pain medication
  • Prescription pain medication
  • Neck or back braces
  • Physical therapy
  • Swimming or other gentle exercises
  • Stretching
  • Hot or cold compresses
  • Therapeutic massage
  • Steroidal injections
  • Chiropractic therapy
  • Acupuncture

When conservative treatment is not enough

Surgery is usually the last resort for treating symptoms associated with nerve compression caused by a herniated disc. A physician typically will exhaust all conservative options before recommending that a patient explore surgery as an option. This is because conventional open back surgery is highly invasive and can take a year or more for recuperation. However, tens of thousands of patients have turned to Laser Spine Institute to find relief without the risks of conventional surgery. Contact Laser Spine Institute to learn how one of our minimally invasive, outpatient procedures can help you find meaningful relief from neck and back pain.

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