Understanding the Different Treatments for Your Herniated Disc

Understanding the Different Treatments for Your Herniated Disc

Most adults experience back pain at some point in their lives. It’s a common complaint, but pinpointing the cause of the pain and finding treatment that helps you feel better isn’t always easy. 

Eric Fanaee, MD, offers comprehensive exams to identify your symptoms and treat them at the source. One of the most common types of back injury is a herniated disc — a condition that develops when a spinal disc breaks open and the soft interior puts pressure on nearby nerves.

You may have a herniated disc if you notice symptoms like:

If you’re diagnosed with a herniated disc, you have a lot of treatment options available to you. Here, we describe some of the most effective treatments we offer.

Conservative care for a herniated disc

While herniated disc pain can be intense, it typically improves significantly within a few weeks. Dr. Fanaee may prescribe a combination of conservative treatments for mild to moderate herniation.

Rest and activity modification

Dr. Fanaee typically begins by recommending a few days of rest to ease the symptoms of a herniated disc. Take a break from strenuous activities like working out and heavy lifting. Consider trying ice or heat therapy to relax your muscles and reduce inflammation.

Pain medication

Depending on the severity of your injury, Dr. Fanaee may recommend pain medication to make you more comfortable. Mild to moderate symptoms can be managed with over-the-counter NSAID pain relievers. In some cases, Dr. Fanaee may prescribe muscle relaxers or other pain medication for a period of time.

Physical therapy

Dr. Fanaee often prescribes physical therapy for patients with herniated discs. Physical therapy helps increase strength and flexibility while you heal, and it can reduce your risk of future injury. Physical therapy for a herniated disc may include elements like stretching, strength training, gentle massage, or electrical muscle stimulation.

Minimally invasive procedures for a herniated disc

Many people find their back pain and other symptoms resolve with a few weeks of conservative care. But if you’re still living with pain after trying pain medication and physical therapy, you’re not out of options. Dr. Fanaee offers a range of minimally invasive treatments that can provide more effective relief for persistent symptoms. 

Epidural steroid injection

Epidural injections are a popular minimally invasive treatment for more severe herniated discs. The injections contain a local anesthetic combined with a stronger steroid for longer-lasting pain relief.

Dr. Fanaee injects the steroid into the space around your spinal cord, and the medication starts working right away to reduce pain and inflammation. For some people, a single epidural injection can provide months of pain relief.

Radiofrequency ablation

Radiofrequency ablation is another minimally invasive procedure to relieve pain from severe herniated discs. Dr. Fanaee may recommend radiofrequency ablation if you’re affected by significant nerve pain, because the procedure quiets pain signals sent by damaged nerves.

In a radiofrequency ablation procedure, Dr. Fanaee inserts a microelectrode underneath your skin near the site of your pain. The electrode gently heats up and cuts off the damaged nerve’s ability to send pain signals to your brain.

The Intracept® Procedure

If you have chronic low back pain from a herniated disc, you could be a candidate for the Intracept Procedure, a specialized type of radiofrequency ablation. Dr. Fanaee uses this revolutionary minimally invasive technique to treat pain in the basivertebral nerve, and it offers a solution for patients who haven’t found relief with other treatment options.

Are you living with nagging back pain? Get started on the path to healing with a personalized treatment plan from Dr. Fanaee. Call 631-265-2020, or book an appointment online now at the New York location near you.

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