The treatment options available for a ruptured disc in the lower back include nonsurgical treatments such as exercise, heating, icing, pain medication and physical therapy, according to WebMD. For the most serious 10 percent of cases, surgery is necessary to fix a ruptured disc.
Treatments for a ruptured disc always start with nonsurgical options to see if the person with the condition can recover on his own, WebMD says. These types of treatment are most effective if they begin before symptoms have been present for six months. Surgery is generally considered once surgery fails to improve the symptoms of a ruptured disc for four weeks or more. It is also considered when the herniated disc presses on nerve roots extending from the spinal cord, causing pain and numbness in the corresponding buttock and extending down the leg.
A vertebral disc is a pad of spongy material between the bones of the spinal column, explains WebMD. When it bulges out of place or breaks open and leaks a thick fluid, it is said to be ruptured. This condition is also known as a herniated or slipped disc. Most ruptured discs occur in the lower back. They occur either because of a traumatic injury or because of the wear and tear of aging.