Treating a herniated disc requires a tailored approach to relieve pain, facilitate healing, and improve overall movement and functionality. There are a range of herniated disc treatments available, and certain factors will help to guide your specific plan, such as:

  • The severity of your herniated disc
  • The location of the herniation
  • The extent of nerve involvement
  • Your specific symptoms
  • Your overall health
  • Activity and lifestyle considerations

5 Treatment Options For Herniated Disc

Knowing your choices can make a big difference when it comes to making decisions about your care. Exploring these five herniated disc treatment options can help you ask the right questions and actively participate in shaping your individualized care plan.

1. Resting and modifying your activities

Often, the first step when dealing with a herniated disc is to rest and modify your activity level. This involves avoiding activities that may cause more pain or stress to the spine to allow for healing and decrease inflammation.

Your doctor may recommend taking a short break from work or altering your daily routine to reduce stress on the affected area. However, staying in bed for an extended period is not recommended as it could lead to muscle weakness, range-of-motion loss, stiffness, and added pain.

Gradually resuming appropriate activities under the guidance of a doctor is key and should be encouraged to maintain core strength and flexibility.

2. Working with a physical therapist

A skilled physical therapist can craft a customized exercise program to improve the strength of the muscles surrounding your spine, increase your flexibility, and promote healthier movement and posture.

Ideal exercises include gentle stretching, core strengthening, and low-impact aerobic activities. You will also learn about correct body mechanics, including proper bending and lifting movements to help prevent future injuries.

3. Making lifestyle changes

Adjusting your lifestyle can help you minimize your discomfort and maximize your relief. Maintaining a healthy weight decreases the strain on your spine and reduces the chances of further complications. Engaging in low-impact exercises, like swimming or walking, helps to strengthen core muscles that support your spine, burn calories, and improve overall flexibility.

Regular exercise and maintaining a healthy weight aren’t the only lifestyle changes you can make to help you relieve pain caused by a herniated disc. By using proper body mechanics when lifting objects and avoiding repetitive twisting or bending motions, you can help reduce reinjury. Investing in quality ergonomic furniture can also help relieve discomfort when sitting for extended periods.

4. Taking medications that provide relief

Pain control and inflammation reduction are key components of herniated disc management. Both prescription-strength and over-the-counter painkillers can be useful in achieving these goals.

Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), including ibuprofen and naproxen sodium, can relieve pain and swelling. Muscle relaxants may also be prescribed to ease muscle spasms. In some instances, oral steroids or steroid injections are recommended to alleviate inflammation around the affected nerve.

It’s important to consult a healthcare professional before taking any medication, as potential side effects and interactions with other drugs or medical conditions must be considered.

5. Discussing surgical options

Surgery may be necessary if traditional treatments have been unsuccessful or if you are experiencing severe herniated disc symptoms such as consistent weakness, loss of bladder, or bowel control. The decision to undergo surgery is significant and should be made only after a comprehensive evaluation by a qualified spine surgeon.

The most common surgical procedure for a herniated disc is a discectomy, which involves removing part or all of the disc pressing on the nerve. In some cases, a spinal fusion to permanently join spinal bones may be necessary to strengthen and stabilize the spine.

Find the Right Treatment Option for You

Herniated disc treatment often requires ongoing monitoring and follow-up with your doctor. It’s important to communicate any changes in symptoms or concerns about your back pain with your healthcare team. Regular check-ups and evaluations will allow your healthcare team to reevaluate and modify your treatment plan to ensure maximum relief.

If you are suffering from disc herniation, call today to discuss your options and get relief!

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