The pain from a herniated disc can sometimes go away on its own if you give it enough rest. However, if your symptoms persist longer than a few weeks, you may need more than rest to get back to normal.
A herniated disc, sometimes called a slipped disc, develops when the cushy pads between the vertebrae in your spine leak out a jelly-like substance, putting pressure on the surrounding nerves and causing pain. You may also experience numbness, tingling, and weakness in the muscles associated with the affected nerves.
Many risk factors have been linked to herniated discs. Chief among them are being overweight, smoking cigarettes, and lifting heavy objects.
We asked our specialist at Berkower Pain and Spine Rehabilitation, Dr. David Berkower, to go over the treatment options that are available for a herniated disc.
Interlaminar epidural steroid injections and transforaminal epidural steroid injections can deliver steroids to the source of the pain in the spine and reduce inflammation. These injections aren’t a cure, but they’re effective at managing symptoms.
Studies conducted on the effectiveness of epidural steroid injections showed that 81% of the participants suffering from a herniated disc experienced relief with no major side effects after the treatment.
If your pain is mild to moderate, you may benefit from over-the-counter painkillers. Muscle relaxers are also used to prevent spasms and pain.
Most medications are used for short periods, and they’re usually combined with other strategies (e.g., weight loss, quitting cigarettes, and physical therapy) for best results.
After you’re no longer in pain, physical therapy is a viable treatment option if you want to prevent pain and improve flexibility. Physical therapy can help with the following:
Dr. Berkower may also recommend the McKenzie Method, a series of exercises that focus on extending the spine to relieve pain.
Left untreated, a herniated disc can cause tremendous pain. In some cases, it can lead to more invasive procedures, such as surgery.
Dr. Berkower focuses on noninvasive and minimally invasive therapies that reduce the need for surgery and provide long-term relief for your back. If your symptoms won’t go away on their own, contact us to schedule an appointment.
You can count on Dr. Berkower to help you get a better understanding of your condition, prescribe a customized treatment, and provide long-term relief for your herniated disc.