A herniated disc is one of the most common culprits of pain in your neck and back. This is also known as a slipped disc or ruptured disc.
Spinal discs are the relatively soft, rubbery pads between the bones (vertebrae) of your spine. These discs contain a gel-like substance in the center that gives the disc extra shock-absorbing power – but if a crack forms in the thicker outer shell of the disc, the inner portion can push outward through the crack. This material can then sit there in place, causing constant irritation to an adjacent nerve in the spinal column.
That is what causes herniated disc pain. As we get older, the water content in our discs decreases. Discs therefore become brittle and more prone to develop a tear, or crack. A herniated disc can also happen due to traumatic impact, such as a sports injury or a car accident.
Fortunately, with various herniated disc treatment options, you don’t have to live your life in pain anymore. While back surgery is recommended in cases where the pain is constantly severe and debilitating, many people experience relief from nonsurgical treatments.
Treating Back Pain Without Surgery
If you have back pain due to a mild herniated disc, it can often be successfully treated without surgery via the following methods:
Resting is a simple and effective means of reducing pain in your back, neck, and legs due to a herniated disc. You can do this by taking long breaks over the course of several days, maintaining proper posture while sitting and walking, and lying down as much as possible until your back starts to feel better.
Resting your back while also taking appropriate pain-relief medication can help your herniated disc recover quickly. These medications include:
- NSAIDs – Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can temporarily relieve pain and reduce inflammation. Your spine doctor may recommend over-the-counter pain relievers or give you a prescription for a stronger pain-relief medicine.
- Muscle Relaxants – When a herniated disc pinches a nearby nerve, the pain signals can radiate to nearby muscle tissue and cause painful muscle spasms. Taking a muscle relaxant will calm these muscle spasms and relieve pain. You can take muscle relaxants for a week or two.
If your pain does not go away with rest and oral medication, your doctor may recommend and administer an injection treatment consisting of a steroid and a local anesthetic. Steroids are very potent anti-inflammatory drugs, and their pain-relieving effect is long-lasting.
Physical therapy can help to relieve back pain and prevent further damage to your spine due to a herniated disc. This works by strengthening your core, which involves muscles in the abdomen, back, upper thighs, and buttocks.
Your physical therapist may advise special exercises, stretches, heat therapy, ice therapy, and massage.
Herniated Disc Treatment in Rochester Hills, Michigan
If you are seeking a lasting treatment for your herniated disc pain or back pain, look no further than Ahlgren Spine – we have convenient offices in Rochester Hills, Bad Axe, and Lapeer, Michigan. Our board-certified orthopedic surgeon Dr. Bradley Ahlgren specializes in the spine, and he will diagnose your condition and recommend the best course of treatment for your back pain or neck pain.
To learn more about your herniated disc treatment options, contact Ahlgren Spine today at (248) 215-8080 or request an appointment online to arrange a consultation with Dr. Ahlgren. We’ll help you live your life pain-free!