Slip Disc Treatment
A slip (herniated) disc points to complications with the rubbery cushions that are there between individual bones in the spine. The spinal disks have a soft center that is encased in a tougher exterior. A slipped disc refers to the situation where the softer jelly-like center of the spinal disc starts pushing out through cracks in the exterior.
A herniated or slipped disc can start irritating the nearby nerves, resulting in pain, weakness, or numbness in the arms or legs. In some cases, the symptoms of a herniated disc do not manifest in patients.
In about 90% of the people suffering from a herniated disc, conservative treatment is enough to relieve the symptoms.Such treatments include avoiding painful positions and following a medication and exercise regime.
The medications that can be prescribed to the patients suffering from slipped discs can include:
- Over-the-counter pain medications
- Narcotics like codeine or an oxycodone-acetaminophen combination
- Nerve pain medications
- Muscle relaxers
- Cortisone injections
Physical therapists illustrate tothe patients the positions and exercises that are designed to reduce the pain of a slipped disc. The following can also be recommended:
- Heat or ice
- Electrical stimulation
- Short-term bracing for the neck or lower back
If conservative treatments fail to relieve the symptoms in patients, the doctor may eventually prescribe a surgery. This case arises if the patients continue to feel the following symptoms, even after treatment:
- Numbness or weakness
- Difficulty standing or walking
- Loss of bladder control
- Loss of bowel control
In most cases, the surgeon will simply remove the protruding part of the disc. However, in very rare cases the entire disc has to be removed, then either the two vertebra are fused together, or an artificial disc may have to be implanted.
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