Slipped disc. Ruptured disc. Bulging disc. Herniated disc. Whatever you call it, it’s one of the most common sources of neck and lower back pain. Herniated discs develop when the soft gel inside a vertebral disc leaks out.
The damaged disc often creates pressure on nearby nerves or spinal ligaments, causing pain. Herniated discs are increasingly common with age, but they can also happen with a sudden injury or strain.
Herniated disc pain can restrict your mobility, but it doesn’t have to stop you in your tracks. We provide top treatments for a herniated disc here at New York Spine and Sports Surgery. Aron Rovner, MD and our expert team are here to help with a range of conservative and surgical options.
Conservative treatments for a herniated disc
After suffering a herniated disc, it’s a good idea to take it easy for a few days. Temporarily reducing your activity level can minimize inflammation around the affected nerves and keep pain at bay.
We generally recommend rest and ice or heat therapy to manage discomfort. Alongside at-home care, there are many nonsurgical treatments to consider when you find yourself suffering lower back or neck pain from a herniated disc.
Physical therapy for a herniated disc
Physical therapy strives to keep you active while allowing your body time to heal. Therapy for a herniated disc often includes gentle massage, stretching exercises, and electrical muscle stimulation.
Before starting a physical therapy plan, your therapist assesses your condition. Your plan includes targeted exercises to strengthen your back and minimize pain. In some cases, your team may recommend activity modifications to help protect your back from future injury.
Medication for a herniated disc
Mild herniated discs are often managed effectively with nonsteroidal medication. These anti-inflammatory medications, either in the form of injections or oral tablets, reduce pain by treating inflammation around the damaged disc.
For more severely damaged discs, joint injections that contain steroid medication can be effective. Muscle relaxants can also help reduce inflammation and discomfort, making it easier to go about your daily life.
To help you find the best treatments, Dr. Rovner performs a thorough physical exam when you visit the office. As you progress through treatment, our team monitors your pain level and progress to adjust your treatment plan as necessary.
When to consider herniated disc surgery
We try all conservative options to treat your herniated disc before recommending surgery. But if your quality of life is still impacted by herniated disc pain after working through your nonsurgical treatment options, surgery could help.
If surgery is your best option to find relief from a herniated disc, Dr. Rovner selects the right surgical technique for you. Depending on the location and severity of your herniated disc, he may recommend cervical disc replacement, lumbar fusion, or other spinal surgery designed to address herniated discs.
Our team offers the latest in minimally invasive spine surgical techniques. In many back surgeries, Dr. Rovner makes a tiny incision and views your spine with a small camera. Smaller incisions often mean less blood loss and a faster recovery.
It’s time to learn more about treating your herniated disc so you can get back to enjoying your life. We have offices in Garden City, New York, and Fair Lawn, New Jersey. Call the office nearest you today or send us a message.