Doctors begin treating patients with herniated discs with a conservative treatment plan and gradually add medications and treatments as necessary, states Spine-health. The first step in treatment is usually anti-inflammatory drugs. If pain persists, doctors may recommend physical therapy or even surgery.
If patients continue to experience pain after using anti-inflammatory drugs, doctors may prescribe drugs such as oral steroids to decrease inflammation, according to Spine-health. Oral narcotics may be prescribed for severe pain. For pain lasting more than two to four weeks, doctors often recommend physical therapy, chiropractic care, manual traction or epidural injections. If about six weeks of treatment fails to relieve pain, then patients and doctors may consider surgical treatment.