Disc protrusion is painful. Treatment is usually aimed at relieving pain and other symptoms which arise due to a herniated disc. However, it should be kept in mind that every patient would respond differently to a particular treatment. Actual treatment depends upon the severity of the condition, the source of the pain and particular symptoms which the patient might be experiencing.
Initially doctors advise patients to be cautious and to care for this problem at home only. Surgery is usually considered as the last resort. However in certain cases early surgery can help overcome the problem much quicker. For example a patient with a fast degenerating spinal disc might benefit from the early intervention.
The following are some of the nonsurgical disc protrusion treatments:
- The doctor would advise gentle exercises and stretching to relieve pressure on the disc. Doctors might even advise yoga or any other exercise which would help restore circulation and prevent sore and aching muscles.
- Cold and hot compress are placed on the affected region to help relieve pain.
- Manual adjustments such as those administered during chiropractic care can be helpful as well. However, these movements are generally more gentle then usual chiropractic adjustments. The aim is to align the spine properly to reduce the pressure on the nerves.
- Anti-inflammatory medicines are helpful for managing the pain as well. However, these only tend to address the symptoms for the time being but shouldn’t be considered as a proper mode of treatment.
- Oral steroids are also given to combat the inflammation. On the other hand an epidural given at the site of the pain can decrease it to a considerable extent.
Surgical Disc Protrusion Treatment
If all of the above mentioned nonsurgical treatments fail to provide relief, the next step is to consider a surgical treatment.
- The first step would be a micro-discectomy. It is a lumbar decompression surgery. And it is used to treat the compressed nerve due to a herniated disc. The herniated portion of the disc is first removed. This allows more space for the nerve root and the pressure on it is relieved. As soon as that happens the nerve starts to heal. It is usually successful when used as a treatment for leg pain or sciatica.
- Cervical herniated disc treatment. The most common surgery for this is anterior cervical disc compression surgery. During this procedure the herniated material is removed through the front of the neck. The disc space is then kept open. Sometimes the posterior surgery is used in which the material is removed from the back of the neck.
It should be kept in mind that the surgery options for herniated discs can be quite complex and would vary from one patient to another. What may have worked for someone may not work for someone else. It’s that simple. This is why doctors believe in using the nonsurgical approach first to combat these issues.