What Are Some Treatments for a Ruptured Disc?


Quick Answer

Some treatment options for a herniated or ruptured disk of the lower back are rest, medications, physical therapy, steroid injections and possible surgery, states the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. The first line of treatment for this back condition are nonsurgical methods. These treatments can include resting for a few days and taking different medications for the relief of pain or inflammation, such as muscle relaxants, narcotic drugs and anti-inflammatory medicines.

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Full Answer

Although a disk herniation can occur anywhere along the spine, a lumbar herniated disk is a very common condition. A lumbar herniated disk may also be called a ruptured or slipped disk of the lower back. A herniated disk develops as the result of disk degeneration due to either a jelly-like substance pushing through a weakened section of the disk or an injury. This leads to pressure being placed on the spinal nerves near the herniated disk, which causes the symptoms of lower back and leg pain and leg weakness. Although rest and medications can help with the pain, application of either ice or warm compresses and physical therapy may also be useful, notes WebMD.

For severe back pain and inflammation, steroid injections may be necessary for some patients. When these nonsurgical treatments fail to relieve the symptoms of a ruptured disk, then a doctor can recommend a surgery called a lumbar microdiskectomy, reports the American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons. This surgery involves the removal of the damaged disk or disk fragments that may be impinging on spinal nerves.

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