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A herniated disc is a common condition mainly affecting patients between the age of 35-55, and hence it is primarily associated with aging. However, several other factors contribute to the complication, and it would be good to seek medical attention as soon as you suspect signs of the disease. Medical experts such as board-certified interventional pain management physician Justin Badiyan MD, of Spine & Joint Physicians of Frisco, can diagnose your condition and help you manage it effectively. Here are some ways you can find some relief from Herniated Disc Pain:
Try Home Remedies
Depending on the severity of your symptoms, your doctor may recommend some at-home care tips to alleviate your pain. Your doctor can ask you to rest for about two days to see if the pain improves by taking some pressure off your vertebrae. You can also be advised to try cold or heat therapy to find out which works best to minimize the inflammation on your back. Whichever works for you, be sure to follow your doctor’s directions carefully to avoid irritating your skin. Also, try to resume activities gradually if you begin experiencing relief.
Try OTC Medications
Mild and moderate pain can be relieved through some over-the-counter medications. However, it would be good to have your doctor evaluate your condition to clear any urgent need for advanced treatment. You can buy some naproxen, aspirin, ibuprofen, or acetaminophen from the pharmacy or nearest stores and follow your pharmacist’s directions and read the instructions on the label carefully.
Consider Muscle Relaxers
Many patients report muscle spasms when enduring herniated discs, which heightens the nerve pain. You can talk to your doctor about any muscle spasms you might be experiencing, and your provider will probably prescribe some muscle relaxers to ease your discomfort. However, be aware of the side effects of the muscle relaxers, such as dizziness and drowsiness. Also, it would be best to take the muscle relaxers strictly as directed by your doctor.
Consider Epidural Injections
If your pain persists despite using oral medications, you might benefit from epidural injections. Discuss it with your doctor, particularly if the pain persists for over six weeks, as it might help you get some pain relief. Your doctor will inject some corticosteroid around your spinal nerves guided by an ultrasound to precisely place the injection. You might experience immediate pain relief following your injection, and also, the muscle spasms from the herniated disc may cease immediately.
You can talk to your doctor about physical therapy to learn how to minimize your pain if it persists despite you taking medications. You might also benefit from some exercises alongside taking the medicines to increase the effectiveness of your treatment. Your physical therapist can focus your activities on building your core and back strength which is critical when dealing with a herniated disc.
Surgery Can be an Option
If all the conservative treatments for herniated discs do not provide pain relief, surgery can be your best option to get back to your quality of life. Although rare, your doctor may suggest surgery to improve your herniated disc if your pain persists for over six months while on other treatments. Surgery can also become necessary if you develop severe complications such as extreme weakness and numbness, trouble walking or standing, and loss of bladder and bowel controls.
Understand how you can get relief from herniated discs by reaching out to Dr. Badiyan at Spine & Joint Physicians of Frisco. Dr. Badiyan will examine your symptoms and evaluate your health and medical history to recommend the best treatment option for you.