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Back Pain: How to Treat a Herniated Disk

A herniated disc is caused by a tear or whole developing in the outer sac that allows the inner nucleus of a disc to protrude through it. A person may have just one herniated disc or a series up and down their spine. They are usually quite painful. Here are some tips for caring for a herniated disc.

Herniated Disk - Back Pain: How to Treat a Herniated Disk

Seek Medical Advice

Do not delay seeing a medical professional. It is important to get a good diagnosis to begin with as there are other things that can go wrong with your back and spine. Then, the doctors will prescribe a treatment plan that is designed especially for you. The plan may include medicines and therapy. It may also involve surgery.

Medicines

Many different types of medicines may be prescribed by your medical team. These include over-the-counter pain relievers if your pain is not too severe. The doctor may also prescribe stronger narcotics to help control the pain. Your medical provider may also prescribe anticonvulsant medicines or muscle relaxers as they have been shown to be helpful to some in the treatment of related muscle pain. Oral steroids can be tried if swelling and inflammation are present.

Therapy

Your doctor may ask you to see a physical therapist as they can often help you develop a plan to help stop the pain. The physical therapist may try using heat to bring more blood to the affected tissue to try to get it to heal naturally through the delivery of extra nutrients and oxygen. The therapist may also recommend cold therapy to help try to control pain and to help with muscle spasms. Hydrotherapy is sometimes used to help stop the muscle spasms while traction may also be tried. Alternatively, the therapist may work with you to create an exercise routine to increase your core muscle strength, your flexibility and to strengthen surrounding muscles.

Surgery

If the pain does not stop in about six weeks, then your doctor may recommend surgery. Your surgeon may take out the entire disc and insert a steel rod into your back to keep it stable. Alternatively, the doctor may just cut away the protruding part in hopes that the wound will heal itself

With so many different choices available, it is important to work with an experienced medical team like those at Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates to develop a treatment plan individually tailored to your needs. If you think you have a herniated disc, then do not delay. Chances are that the pain will not get better without aggressive treatment.

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