6 Options You Need to Know for Herniated Disc Treatment!
I get the question asked of me often……. “I have a herniated disc what do I need to do?”
Well the goal is to try to eliminate the herniated disc and stop the severe pain that is interfering with you living your life. When you are diagnosed with a herntated disc there is a typical process that you will go through and you may find yourself on this path. It’s important to know what these steps are so you can make the best decisions about you future. One wrong step can lead to back pain that can change your life forever. This path can be a slippery slope so awareness is vital.
If you are not clear about what a herniated disc is you will need to read my blog 6 Things You Must Know If You Have A Herniated Disc! In this blog we explored some of the major things you need to know about the anatomy of a herniated disc. The more you know the better the outcome for your problem, because you will make better decisions.
The standard course of care for herniated disc treatment is as follows………….
Typically when you are first diagnosed with a herniated disc your Dr will;
- Prescribe different Medication for the pain, inflammation and the muscle spasms. You will probably rest and take medicine for a week and wait to see what happens. If this does not alleviate your pain the next step is physical therapy.
- Physical therapy. You will spend 2 to 3 days a week for about 6 weeks going to physical therapy. The goal would again be pain relief, decrease inflammation and make you feel better. The physical therapist will try to accomplish this by working with your muscles, give you some electric stimulation along with hot and cold packs. Some patients will find some relief but unfortunately many who suffer with a herniated disc will not. If this therapy does not work, there are several different paths you can take.
- Some may consult with a Chiropractor. The Chiropractor’s goal will be similar to the physical therapist but they will to try to work with the joints of the spine to take some pressure off the discs. This helps with the pain and symptoms associated with the herniated disc. If this doesn’t work your prognosis will be determined by your next step on your path.
- If you are still under the care of your Doctor the next step is typically to go to a specialist for Pain Management. The treatment of choice by this specialist is usually epidural shots. The goal is to eliminate the inflammation deep inside the spine that is being caused by the herniated disc. You can read more here about epidural injections here. Epidurals For Back Pain – Risks and Side Effects. You will typically get 3 or 4 shots, and if your pain persists you will be considered for the next level of care, the Surgeon.
- Your doctor will now send you to a Surgeon he trusts. After you consult with a surgeon you will have to make some big decisions about what you want to do. He may or may not recommend you have surgery. Although if you have gone through all of the above steps (1-4) and not gotten better, it is very common that your surgeon will recommend you have surgery. Read the following blog about some of the risks associated with surgery. The 21 Common Risks Associated with Herniated Disc Surgery
Now the possibility exists that you don’t get the surgery. Everybody has to make the decisions that make the most sense for them. Because most back surgery decisions are not life or death they are considered an elective procedure. This means in the end it’s your choice if you want it or not. The doctor will tell you “it’s your choice, if you want to live with the pain forever……” it’s your choice.
What are your other options, and what is the 6th option I mentioned in the head line.
- Illinois Back Institute. The treatment at the Illinois Back Institute is specifically designed to eliminate the pains associated with the herniated disc. The treatment is very good for any bad back that has not gotten better with other therapies. The reason the process is so good is because it is the only treatment that heals the disc when it is damaged. The back pain in the above scenario will be the result of damage to the disc. Eliminate the damage to the disc and the pain will go away.