Treatment of Herniated disc by Dr. Guy Fogel

Herniated disc Treatment

The herniated disc may heal on its own with conservative treatments. In fact most herniated discs will never need surgery. Non-surgical conservative treatment should always be tried first. These may include physical therapy epidural steroid injections, hot/cold therapy, and medications for pain and inflammation.

If conservative treatment fails, there are a number of minimally invasive procedures that are alternative to traditional surgical procedures.

Alternative Treatment

The herniated disc may heal on its own with conservative treatments. Non-surgical conservative treatment should always be tried first. These may include physical therapy epidural steroid injections, hot/cold therapy, and medications for pain and inflammation.

Herniated disc Repair

Herniated disc repair is likely. If you are suffering back and leg pain from a herniated disc the tear may heal itself without surgery.

The process of resorption of a disc herniation can occur weeks or months after herniated disc. The larger the tear the more likely resorption will occur.


If you cannot get comfortable then there are safe endoscopic techniques as minimally invasive alternatives to open back surgery that may make you pain free.

Herniated disc Treatments

Herniated disc may ebb and flow with the intensity of the pain and symptoms. Non-prescription anti-inflammatory medications and exercise may be sufficient to decrease the symptoms.

Conservative treatment from the physician for herniated disc may include more powerful anti-inflammatory drugs by prescription, cortisone injections in the epidural space, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, and continue your home exercise regimen.  When these options fail, spine surgery may be an option.

Before you make a decision about surgical treatment of spinal herniated disc, you should check out the modern minimally invasive options for surgery. To learn more about what we do or receive a free MRI review contact us.


Surgical Treatments for Spinal herniated disc

Many herniated disc treatments are available to relieve symptoms of herniated disc effectively, although there is no cure for this disease. The goal of a herniated disc treatment is to slow the progression of the disease, stop the pain, decrease other symptoms, increase joint function, and preserve range of motion. Your doctor will first assess the severity of your condition and factor in your age and overall health before designing a treatment plan that’s right for you.

Most symptoms of herniated disc are treated using conservative methods like exercise, rest, massage, ice and heat applications, or weight loss. Your doctor may recommend medications for spine herniated disc, which can be either over-the-counter or prescription, depending on the severity of the symptoms. More advanced cases of herniated disc may require physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, or spinal injections to alleviate pain and restore mobility. If non-surgical treatments for herniated disc fail to relieve symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery.

If your doctor suggests surgery as a treatment option, it’s always a good idea to explore all the procedures available to you so that you are able to make a wise decision about your health. If you’d like more information on our herniated disc treatments, contact us and ask us about our free MRI or CT scan review.


Traditional Back Surgery for Spine

Surgical treatments for herniated disc are used in cases where conservative, non-surgical treatments have been exhausted and the patient still has chronic and acute pain and limitation of activities even walking. Depending on the severity of the condition, the surgical treatment will involve decompression and possibly a spinal fusion.

“Decompression surgery" is a broad term used to describe a number of procedures that are designed to relieve symptoms caused by pressure on a nerve root or the spinal cord. During a decompression, a surgeon will remove any bone matter, disc materials or other debris placing pressure on the nerve root and spinal cord to relieve herniated disc symptoms like pain, tingling, numbness or weakness in the back or extremities. Common decompression surgeries include laminectomy, foraminotomy, discectomy, and others.

Sometimes an open-back decompression surgery will leave the spine unstable or structurally unsound, depending on the type of procedure performed. In this case, the patient may require a spinal fusion. During a spinal fusion, bone grafts or hardware such as screws and rods are inserted into the spine for support and to force two or more vertebra to grow together as a single unit.

Spinal fusion and decompression both come with some negative side effects, and both are generally performed in a hospital using general anesthesia. These surgeries also involve large incisions and damage to muscle and tissue, so infection risk can be high and the recovery time can take up to a year or more.

You can receive minimally invasive surgical treatments for spinal herniated disc. These procedures use state-of-the-art technology to allow for a drastically shorter recovery time than traditional back surgery. We can perform these surgeries for herniated disc and a number of other back and neck problems. If you’re tired of living your life in pain, contact us to learn more about what we may do for you.


Herniated disc Surgery 

The idea of herniated disc surgery may sound like the right choice when you feel so bad and cannot do anything you normally do.. Surgery is a life changing event that can affect you physically, socially, and in the wallet. It may affect your ability to return to work, and your activities of daily living.  It is important to learn as much as possible before you decide that herniated disc surgery is the right treatment option for you.

If your doctor has diagnosed you with herniated disc and is suggesting that herniated disc surgery may be a way to relieve your pain, some common procedures include:

  • Laminectomy – removal of lamina (the bony roof of the vertebral arch) and also the removal of bone spurs (osteophytes) that cause nerve compression
  • Foraminotomy – a form of herniated disc surgery that enlarges neural foramen by removing significant amounts of bone

Usually, the above options for herniated disc surgery are traditional, open surgeries that require general anesthesia, hospital stays, and longer recovery periods. If you feel that these may not be the right options for you, there are other alternative minimally-invasive procedures that can help you rediscover a life without pain. Contact us today to learn how and for a free review of your MRI or CT scan.


Non-Surgical Treatments for Spine Herniated disc

Non-surgical treatments are usually the first options a doctor will consider when managing herniated disc and other back and neck problems. Because conservative treatments help the majority of patients, doctors only recommend surgery as a last resort. Whether you’re suffering from sciatica, spinal stenosis, degenerative disc disease, herniated disc of the spine, or any other back and neck condition, the conservative treatment options are often the same, and include:

Physical therapy is the first step in treatment of spinal herniated disc. Physical therapy may be a home program or a referral to a therapist.   It should improve flexibility and mobility while increasing strength. Typical physical therapy treatments include exercise, massage, electrical stimulation, heat therapy, hydrotherapy (aquatic therapy) and more.

  • Chiropractic care – Chiropractic care will likely include the adjustment of the spine in order to treat back and neck pain. Chiropractic care also includes many of the physical therapy modalities and exercises. Chiropractors employ such techniques as applied pressure, massage, and manual manipulation (adjustment) of the vertebrae and joints.
  • Pain management – Many types of acute or chronic back pain can be alleviated with such treatments as injections, drugs and medications, spinal bracing and others.
  • Alternative medicine – Alternative medicine is a broad term used to describe non-traditional therapies including acupuncture, acupressure, yoga, biofeedback, and more. Some people report experiencing relief from alternative medicine.

If you are interested in a non-surgical treatment for your spinal herniated disc, it is very important to check with your doctor before starting any treatment program. All treatments carry the risk of side effects and further injury to your spine and neck, so you should always remain in a doctor’s care throughout the treatment process.

General measures you may lessen the severity of the pain of spine herniated disc. These include:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Maintaining proper posture
  • Remaining active and avoiding any extended periods of inactivity
  • Quitting smoking, as smoking impairs blood flow resulting in nutrient and oxygen loss in spinal tissues
  • Wearing comfortable, low-heeled shoes
  • Sleeping on a mattress of medium firmness to reduce curvature of the spine

If you’ve tried non-surgical treatments but are still experiencing back or neck pain due to spine herniated disc, it may be time to consider a minimally invasive surgical procedure.. For more information on the types of procedures we provide please contact us.


Medications for Herniated disc

In general your physician will prescribe anti-inflammatory medications for the spine herniated disc. These may be such medications as Motrin or Naprosyn, medications that work directly on the herniated disc. Short courses of cortisone also may be helpful. Another category of medications is pain medications. If the pain is more severe and not controlled by the anti inflammatory medications, pain medications may be prescribed.

If your herniated disc is rheumatoid herniated disc or another autoimmune type of spinal herniated disc, medications such as Methotrexate, Prednisone, and biologic disease modifying agents for rheumatoid disease (DMARD’s) are most effective for joint and spinal discomfort.

The pain associated with herniated disc can seriously affect your life, but you don’t have to live with it forever. If you’ve tried medications for herniated disc without success, there are other safe and effective options. Minimally invasive surgeries work to treat symptoms of herniated disc and other back problems with a high success rate.


Herniated disc Exercises

Neck Herniated disc Exercises

Herniated disc exercises can be an important part of any physical therapy program aimed at relieving the pain that accompanies spinal herniated disc. An arthritic joint means that the joint has either degenerated or inflamed (spinal rheumatoid herniated disc), causing every movement of the joint to be extremely painful. Herniated disc exercises should, therefore, be aimed at strengthening muscles and ligaments around the joint so that a weight burden can be removed from the arthritic area – and at increasing general flexibility so that you can experience as much joint mobility and pain relief as possible.

  • It is important to consult with your doctor before attempting any exercise for your spinal herniated disc, as some exercises could make you worse.
  • Gentle range of motion of the Neck and back  gently moving the head from side to side, then practice bending forwards and backwards
  • Do small arm circles and pendulum swings can keep the lumbar (lower) and cervical (upper) regions of your spine flexible
  • Aerobic exercise: build endurance without doing high-impact activities by swimming easy laps in a pool or training on an elliptical machine
  • Meditation: Very light stretching and rhythmic breathing can help calm your mind and body.


Herniated disc Pain Relief

If you are one of millions suffering daily with the pain of herniated disc you realize there must be a treatment for your pain. You should seek a diagnosis of your problem. It may be herniated disc of degenerative or rheumatoid type. It may be spinal stenosis causing pressure on your nerves to the arm or leg. There may be inherited factors that will influence your painful condition.

Herniated disc pain relief treatments might include mild chiropractic therapies that focus on the joints of the spine so that tension is released and circulation is increased. Strength-building exercises can help bolster the spine so that arthritic joints don’t have to support so much weight. Low-impact activities such as walking, gentle stretching, or swimming can help build endurance. Steroid injections may temporarily help pain that results from joint swelling and can also help your doctor to pinpoint the exact location of the afflicted joint.

If these conventional forms of pain relief do not prove effective, your physician may suggest that you consider a major open-back surgery. These surgeries may include Laminectomy or fusion surgery.  There are minimally invasive surgical alternatives to large open surgeries. Please contact us for more information.


Neck Herniated disc Treatment

Treatment of the neck herniated disc by your doctor will depend on the severity of your neck pain, arm radiculopathy pain, and limitation of range of motion. The most common course of treatment for neck herniated disc symptoms is conservative, or non-surgical, methods. When a patient’s neck mobility or radiculopathy remains compromised after conservative treatments, or if chronic pain persists, your physician may suggest surgery as an option.

There is no known cure for herniated disc, and most patients will experience long-term intermittent or it may become constant effects from this disease. When a person is diagnosed with neck herniated disc, or cervical herniated disc, most physicians offer options for conservative neck herniated disc treatment, including:

  • Physical therapy – Exercise to strengthen the neck muscles
  • Hot or cold therapy – Heat pads to increase circulation or cold pads to reduce swelling
  • Pain medicine – Over-the-counter drugs like acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as well as prescription pain killers
  • Anti-inflammatory injections – Cortisone or steroidal solutions to numb pain
  •  Behavior modification – Avoiding activity that might exacerbate neck herniated disc symptoms
  • Chiropractic therapy – Including traction or non-surgical spinal decompression therapy
  • Others – Acupuncture, massage, cervical pillows
  • If cervical herniated disc pain deteriorates quality of life significantly after months of conservative treatment, they may begin to look into surgical treatment. Spinal decompression surgery is treatment of irritated nerve roots that become compressed as the spinal structure degenerates.  This procedure is designed to take the pressure off those nerves, thereby reducing irritation and pain.
  • Minimally invasive treatments of neck herniated disc treatment can help you get your life back.


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