A herniated disc is one of the most common causes in the US to visit an orthopedist.Depending on the location where the disk is herniated, it can result in pain, numbness, or weakness in the arm or leg.
The good news is that for most patients, herniated disc slowly improves over a period of several days to weeks, and the patient may experience herniated disc symptoms by three to four months.
Let’s talk about the non-surgical treatment options available for herniated discs and where you can go for this treatment in Dover, NJ.
Herniated Disc: What Does It Mean?
Our spine comprising 24 bones called vertebrae, is arranged in a stacked formation to create a canal that protects the spinal cord. In between bones are flexible intervertebral discs that act as shock absorbers and are flat and round.
Intervertebral discs are made of two components: annulus fibrosis, a tough, flexible outer ring of the disk, and nucleus, a soft jelly-like center of the disk. Disc herniation begins when the inner component of the disc pushes against its outer component due to wear and tear or sudden injury.
This pressure of the internal component of the vertebrae against the outer component may cause back pain, and if the pressure continues, the jelly-like nucleus may push through the outer disk or cause the ring to bulge. This puts pressure on the spinal cord and nearby nerve roots, causing nerve inflammation. The inflammation of the nerve root may also lead to pain, numbness, and weakness in one or both of your legs, causing a condition known as sciatica.
Initially,a herniated disc is treated with non-surgical treatments that may include:
Painful symptoms associated with herniated disc, such as back pain and leg pain, can subside with one to two days of bed rest. If complete bed rest is not possible for you, take several breaks throughout the day and avoid sitting or standing for a long time.It is also recommended to change your daily activities to avoid any movements that can cause further neck or back pain.
For mild to moderate herniated disc pain, orthopedic doctors recommend nonprescription medications such as acetaminophen, naproxen, sodium, ibuprofen,etc. However, if your pain is severe, your doctor may prescribe medications like muscle relaxants, opioids, and neuropathic drugs.
In some cases,where pain does not improve with oral medications, an orthopedic doctor might recommend cortisone injections.The cortisone is injected into the area around the spinal cord. If needed, your orthopedic doctor may also use fluoroscopy to guide the needle during injection therapy.
Studies have reported that epidural injection can successfully relieve back pain in patients who have not been helped by six weeks or more of other non-surgical treatments, such as oral medications, heat and ice therapy, and rest.
In addition to the medications and injections, an orthopedic doctor may also recommend you see a physical therapist. Physical therapists can teach patients targeted stretching and strengthening exercises to relieve back pain and other associated symptoms. They may also teach them safer ways to perform their several day-to-day activities, such as walking and lifting.
Herniated Disc in Dover, NJ
At Orthopedic Associates of West Jersey, we have a team of highly trained and skilled orthopedic doctors committed to offering accurate diagnosis and treatment of numerous musculoskeletal system conditions and problems, including herniated discs. Our orthopedic doctor performs a comprehensive assessment to determine the underlying cause of your back or neck pain and developsa treatment plan which may consist of surgical and non-surgical treatments torelieve your pain once and for all.
If you would like to know more about the services we offer or would you like to schedule a one-on-one consultation with one of our herniated disc specialists, please contact our staff today at (973)989-0888 or fill out our online appointment request form.