The treatment of a herniated disc can entail both conservative and surgical methods, such as pain relievers, physical therapy and possible surgery. However, the first treatment options that a doctor may recommend are rest and the application of heat or ice packs to alleviate the symptoms of this condition. Some other options are exercise and physical therapy, states WebMD.
Different medications can also be necessary for pain, such as over-the-counter pain relievers or stronger prescribed drugs when the symptoms are severe. One type of prescription medication can be oxycodone, reports the Mayo Clinic. Other possible non-surgical treatments may be the use of muscle relaxants or cortisone injections. These injections can help to resolve a symptom like inflammation around the affected disc. These treatments may be more effective if a person is treated before he or she has experienced more than 6 months of symptoms associated with a herniated disc, according to WebMD.
If these treatments fail to relieve the symptoms, doctors can recommend surgery, especially if the patient's walking ability is affected or there are other troubling symptoms present.
A herniated disc is a condition in which a disc, which is a sponge-like structure found between the bones of the spine, bulges out from this area of the spine. This can affect nerves near the damaged disc, leading to pain, numbness and weakness in different body areas, according to the herniated disc location. A disc herniation can occur in the neck or lower back areas, states MedlinePlus.