Herniated Disc

Treatments for Herniated Disc

A herniated disc is a very common medical condition that many people suffer, especially when they are not that young anymore.

It is painful and in many cases makes the one who suffers from it unable to carry on with his job for a few weeks, making him spend most of that period lying in bed. The good thing about a herniated disc is that it requires a natural healing process, and generally does not necessitate any surgery.

However, there are some additional methods of treatment, besides the natural recovery, that doctors advice their patients to consider for faster and more efficient healing. Before getting to know more about them you should remember that the doctor´s advice should be thoroughly respected, and additional treatments should always be employed only with his consent. Doctors always know better.  (except for some doctors:)

Non Surgical Treatment for Herniated Disc

These are the most common when it comes to the treatment of a patient who suffers from a herniated disc. Always attempted the first, with the hope that it will fully cure the patient, these consist of medications that should relieve most of the pain. They are used in order to allow the patient to be able to begin exercising.

A few other indicated methods, generally considered by doctors as useful for those that suffer from a herniated disc are also available. They include:

  • Special programs dedicated to weight control: Some medical facilities offer these programs, while carefully monitoring the evolution of each patient. The results of these treatments are often spectacular and become visible really soon after the patient starts applying them.

  • Steroids administered orally: This method of treatment for a herniated disc should only be followed with the doctor´s consent, otherwise secondary effects or other complications, that have nothing to do with the herniated disc, can appear.
  • Special massage therapy: It is always important that this kind of therapy method is performed by a professional as inadequate massage might even hamper the recovery process and provoke additional pain. Generally, this treatment is relaxing and quite efficient.
  • Ultrasound therapy: Not available everywhere, this represents a newer method of herniated disc treatment that has shown extremely encouraging results. Depending on the medical facilities in your area, this might not be available.

Click “Natural remedies for herniated disc” for more information 

Surgical Treatment for Herniated Disc

In some severe cases of patients suffering from a herniated disc, surgery can be the only option of treatment for a complete recovery. The doctor will be able to decide this either after he sees the CT scans or after he sees the patient to whom he prescribed a non surgical treatment and who is not content with how the recovery process is going. It generally represents a last resort.
The modern and highly efficient surgical procedures used in this case include:

  • IDET or inter vertebral electrothermal annuloplasty: Minimally invasive, this modern procedure consists of the insertion of a hollow needle in the damaged disc. A heated wire is passed through the disc, and kept there for a couple of minutes. The ruptures of the disc are supposed to be sealed by the heat.

  • Chemonucleolysis: This injection based treatment is usually used when the herniated disc is located in the lower part of the spinal cord. Not as popular as other surgical methods.

stages of Chemonucleolysis

  • Discectomy: The aim of this procedure is to totally relieve the compression of the nerves. This is done by removing the central part of the affected inter vertebral disc, in order to stop it causing pain. Usually it is employed in the rare cases when the pain experienced by the patients is almost unbearable. 

The following articles may also be useful.

What is Microdiscectomy ?

Laser Surgery of the Spine

What You Should Know About Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery

  • TDR or total disc replacement: Used to replace the damaged inter vertebral discs that cause severe pain with special, artificial devices. This method has been recently introduced in the United States of America, with great results in the cases where patients experienced chronic pain.

Disc Replacement

Summary Remarks

Even though the mere word ´surgery´ has a devastating effect on most patients, regardless of the illness that they suffer from, it should be know that because of the modern technology available today and because of so many experienced and talented doctors, this procedure should not be feared. It is important to undergo such a surgery, according to the doctor´s advice, right after you are diagnosed with a herniated disc, otherwise your condition can deteriorate and have more severe consequences on your body.

Treating a herniated disc as soon as possible is always advisable for a faster and more efficient recovery. Since this might imply either to a simple treatment that includes medication and a lot of rest, or on the contrary, a surgical operation, it is good to be prepared for both of these possible options, when experiencing initial symptoms. Also, going to a specialist doctor with experience will eliminate any other risks, even if treating a herniated disc is not necessarily a very sophisticated process. 

For a herniated disc the methods of treatment include medication, exercise, and massage therapy, while surgery is only a last resort.

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