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A herniated disc is the rupture of a spinal disc, which is the soft cushion that sits between each vertebra of the spine. When the disc ruptures, a small part of the spinal disc is pushed outside its normal boundary, and the spinal nerves and spinal cord may become pinched. Our spine surgeons typically suggest conservative (nonsurgical) treatment initially, but if the symptoms persist, more aggressive treatments are recommended.

Conservative treatments for herniated discs usually consist of the following:

Activity Modification

If you have a herniated disc, you should rest and avoid strenuous activities. Herniated discs may restore themselves if given time.

Ice and Heat Applications

Applying ice and heat can be very helpful in relieving pain and relaxing the muscles of the back.

Physical Therapy

A good physical therapy program will help strengthen the lumbar muscles in your back, giving you added support and a reduction in pain.

Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Our spine specialists can prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to help relieve the pain and pressure of the compressed nerves from a herniated disc. Anti-inflammatory medications should be used under supervision.

Epidural Steroid Injections

Injections of cortisone directly into the area of the nerve compression can also be administered. Injections will relieve the pressure on the nerve.

Should conservative treatments not prove effective, surgical techniques will be considered. The goal of surgery is to decrease pain and give the patient normal mobility. Recovery from a herniated disc surgery can take anywhere from four to six weeks.

Suffering from back pain and looking for more guidance on the best treatment for you? Request an appointment with a DMOS spine doctor.

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Maureen Roushar

About Maureen Roushar