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Posted on 12-19-2016

Herniated Disk Treatment Options

By Robert N. Perry

There are a variety of herniated disc treatment options that can be relied on to remedy specific cases of recurring back pain due to a herniated disc. The most important consideration is to be able to properly match the chosen treatment option to the case at hand. In this post, we will talk about the various herniated disc treatment options and describe each one in more detail.

Rest and Therapy. Believe it or not, rest is a great treatment option for mild cases of herniated discs. When a patient is first diagnosed with a herniated disc leading to recurring back pain and it is determined that the degree is only mild, doctors will prescribe a period of rest, therapy and pain medication to manage the condition. Rest entails taking a leave from work, whether it’s office work or out on the field, for a period not less than 2 weeks and as long as 8 weeks where necessary.

During the first few days, the patient will be recommended to lie down and rest. To minimize the pain, patients may assume the fetal position to stretch the spine and free up the nerve roots that are compressed leading to the pain. Lying down on one’s side also shifts the weight so it is no longer directed on the compressed nerve endings.

After 3 to 5 days of bed rest, the patient can perform light exercises for treat the herniated disc. Light exercises strengthen the back and leg muscles, improving support on the back, and stretching the ligaments to allow the disc to hopefully heal on their own. When coupled with pain medication in the prescribed dose, patients should be able to feel significant improvement within a 2 to 3 week period.

Chiropractic Adjustment. In more advanced cases, herniated disc treatment options may include the involvement of a chiropractor. A chiropractor is a doctor who specializes in the use of manual and manipulative therapies as alternative to surgery for neuromusculo-skeletal disorders. Chiropractors are experts in physical therapy, taking advantage of modern diagnostic methods like X-rays and MRI to spot troublesome areas and then using physical therapy to correct those problems. Chiropractors will also be able to provide expert advice on exercise routines that will prove beneficial to herniated disc patients.

Assorted Options. There is a large variety of treatment options for a herniated disc. However, there is no one treatment that has been found to work for everyone. Since each individual’s case is different and everyone’s body is different, some options may help some people while others do not. Some of the options available that have reportedly helped with back pain are physical therapy, massage, acupuncture, epidurals and spinal decompression therapy.

Surgery. If the condition is beyond remedy by rest, medication and other non-invasive treatments, surgery is the next logical step on the hierarchy of herniated disc treatment options. There are many types of back surgery, each with its own pros and cons, and each tailored to specific conditions. Identifying the right procedure requires extensive analysis of the problem to determine the best plan of attack. Surgery has its own fair share of complications and disadvantages so a thorough assessment is necessary before surgery is explored as a herniated disc treatment option. Surgery is usually a last option and only used when all other non-invasive treatments have failed.

By and large, there are many herniated disc treatment options that can help patients deal with their conditions. The challenge is to identify which is the right treatment plan at the right time in order to minimize the risks and costs while maximizing the gain. When done correctly, a patient can hope to be finally free from the curse of recurring back pain in the most effective and efficient way possible.

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