What Are Some Treatments for L5-S1 Disc Herniation?

Some treatments for L5-S1 disc herniation include chiropractic treatment, physiotherapy, applications of heat and cold, and treatment with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or NSAIDs, says Spine-health. Other treatments include the use of steroids taken orally or cortisone injections. If the problem does not respond to these treatments, a surgeon may perform a microdiscectomy.

NSAIDs are used to reduce the inflammation caused by the herniated disc, which reduces pain, says Spine-health. Some chiropractic treatments for the condition are mobilization and spinal and manual manipulation. With mobilization, the chiropractor helps the patient increase the range of motion in the lower back through slow and steady manipulation. The chiropractor uses a faster type of manipulation to reduce the irritation on the spinal nerve and improve the functioning of the lower back. Osteopaths, who focus on the whole body and not just on the lumbar and sacral spine, also use manipulation to ease pain and improve the patient's range of motion.

Oral steroids provide a more power anti-inflammatory effect than NSAIDs, according to Spine-health. Epidural injections of steroids are even more effective, and about half of the patients treated in this way find pain relief that lasts as long as one year.

Microdiscectomy surgery reduces the risk of surgery by allowing the surgeon to make a smaller incision and to lessen the trauma to the soft tissues around the herniated disc, says Spine-health.