Each year, Americans spend about $50 billion in an effort to treat back pain, according to the ACA. One common cause of back pain is having a herniated disc. The discs in your spine are gel-like cushions that sit between your vertebrae. When a disc becomes herniated, or bulges, materials from inside the disc might escape into the spinal column where they can interfere with nerves, causing pain, or sciatica. Although many people find that a disc can repair itself over time, for others, herniated disc repair is necessary to fully combat the painful symptoms and disabling pain. When a herniated disc does not repair itself, individuals generally have two options.
Herniated disc repair can sometimes be achieved through external therapies, such as laser therapy, and spinal decompression.
- DTS Triton Spinal Decompression
- Cold Laser Therapy
In spinal decompression, the spine is slowly and gently stretched, creating a vacuum in the spinal column that retracts any herniated disc materials, increases blood flow, speeds healing, and brings relief from back pain. Individuals in need of sciatica relief may find this treatment especially useful.
A cold laser is used to expose cells in the treatment area to a special light that penetrates up to 5 centimeters beneath the skin. This light encourages intracellular metabolism, speeding healing and pain relief.
Other non-invasive treatments include massage therapy and chiropractic care. Because many back, neck, and head pains are related, most of these treatments can have a domino effect for relieving related issues, such as headaches, chronic migraines, or muscle tension in the neck.
Herniated disc repair via surgery is rarely necessary. However, in the treatment of spine problems, extreme cases do exist, and if other treatments fail, surgery is considered as a last resort. Your doctor may recommend surgery if an MRI reveals that surgical treatment would be ideal, if your herniated disc has caused you weakness, loss of mobility, or limited your ability to carry out daily activities.
- Open Discectomy, and Percutaneous Discectomy
- Laminotomy, and Laminectomy
Through these procedures, herniated materials are either removed through open surgery, or through a small incision in the back. Open discectomy is more common and more effective when a herniated disc is causing severe and prolonged pain, whereas percutaneous discectomy is considered experimental in nature.
These procedures involve the removal of either a portion of the vertebral arch, or the removal of all of those arches, known as lamina, among a set of vertebrae. Once material is removed, nerves in the spinal column are less likely to become irritated or pinched.
Back and spinal conditions, such as herniated discs, are notoriously difficult to diagnose, and equally as difficult to treat. Therefore, involvement of a medical professional is crucial to determining which options are most likely to deliver positive results. The important thing to remember is that there are multiple options open to a healthy individual, and while back pain may be common, it its not untreatable. More like this.