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What Is Involved in Disc Extrusion Treatment?

By Meshell Powell
Updated May 17, 2024
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Disc extrusion treatment options vary according to the severity of the condition and the presence of specific symptoms. Over-the-counter or prescription pain medications are often used to treat the back pain caused by bulging discs, especially in the beginning stages of the condition. Some people may benefit from alternative treatment methods, such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, or yoga, but more invasive disc extrusion treatment methods, such as spinal injections or surgical intervention, may be needed in more severe cases. A doctor should be consulted with any questions concerning the most appropriate disc extrusion treatment options for an individual situation.

Pain medications are often used as a first step in disc extrusion treatment. Over the counter pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen may help to relieve discomfort and reduce inflammation caused by damage to the discs of the spine or compression of the surrounding nerves. Prescription medications are sometimes prescribed if over the counter drugs do not provide sufficient relief.

Acupuncture is a popular disc extrusion treatment method and involves the insertion of small needles into the skin in the spinal region of the body. This alternative form of treatment is said to provide pain relief by helping to balance the body's natural energies. Yoga is a form of gentle exercise that also incorporates deep breathing exercises and relaxation techniques and that may help to strengthen the muscles of the back. Chiropractic care can be sought, but a doctor should be consulted first to make sure that this is a safe option for the individual patient.

Spinal injections may used to control pain during disc extrusion treatment if other forms of pain management have not been successful. Steroid drugs and certain types of local anesthesia are often administered to combat severe or debilitating pain. These injections usually have to be repeated on a periodic basis and are used in an attempt to prevent or delay the need for surgical intervention.

When all other options have been exhausted or when it becomes impossible for the patient to function normally, surgical intervention is the ultimate step in disc extrusion treatment. There are several techniques available, ranging from minimally invasive to major surgery. Endoscopic surgery is among the least invasive surgical options and involves the use of a small incision and the insertion of several tubes through which the spinal damage is repaired. Spinal fusion surgery is much more complicated and requires a large incision and the use of bone grafts or synthetic hardware to stabilize the affected discs.

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Discussion Comments

By myharley — On Aug 14, 2012

When I am dealing with a medical problem, my first choice is to find an alternative way of treating it. I have problems with disc extrusion, and have had relief using acupuncture.

I know this isn't for everyone, and I was a little nervous the first time I tried it. I had a lot of confidence in the person who was giving me the treatment, so I am sure this helped me relax.

I have a treatment about every 4 weeks, and if I skip a treatment, I really notice it and realize how much the acupuncture is helping.

By andee — On Aug 14, 2012

@SarahSon-- I am a yoga enthusiast and think it can help with a wide variety of problems. I have never had bulging discs, but a couple of the ladies in my yoga class have found relief for their back pain using yoga.

These exercises can really help you strengthen your muscles and also help you learn how to relax. When we are tense, this can cause our muscles to work overtime, and learning how to deal with this in a different way is very beneficial.

If it is something you are thinking about, I think it would at least be worth a try. Give yourself some time for it to help. One of the ladies I know really attributes yoga to helping her stay off medications for her back pain.

By SarahSon — On Aug 13, 2012

Has anyone tried yoga for bulging discs in your back? I have never done yoga, and sometimes this sounds like it might make the pain worse.

I am not very limber and some of the yoga exercises I have seen look like they might hurt my back more than make it feel better. I am just looking for non-invasive ways to help with my back pain.

By bagley79 — On Aug 13, 2012

I have had back pain for as long as I can remember. This slowly progressed through the years and I have gone through many different kinds of treatment.

I started out taking over-the-counter medications and when this wasn't helping anymore, I started taking prescription medication. This worked for quite awhile, but eventually I started getting steroid shots every few months to help with the pain.

I know this is just a temporary solution and that I would probably eventually need surgery, as I have tried most of the available treatment options.

I don't know why I have had so much problem with the discs in my back. I can't remember anything traumatic happening that would have caused this, but I know there are a lot of other people out there who also struggle with disc problems.

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