If you have a physically demanding job, you may be no stranger to back pain. After all, putting in a hard day’s work requires using every muscle in your back. Still, if you have acute or chronic pain, you may have a herniated disk somewhere in your spine.
Between each of your backbones, you have jelly-like disks that provide cushioning and facilitate movement. If one of these disks slips out of place or breaks open, you may have a herniated disk. According to the Mayo Clinic, your treatment options probably depend on the severity of your injury.
Treatment for a minor injury
If your herniated disk constitutes a minor injury, your doctor may take a conservative treatment approach. This approach is likely to involve ordering you to restrict your movements or even to spend a few days in bed. Your physician may also prescribe certain medications to help you cope with your injury.
These medications may include one or more of the following:
- Prescription pain medication
- Muscle relaxers
- Neuropathic drugs
- Cortisone or steroid injections
Treatment for a moderate or severe injury
If your injury requires a more aggressive treatment plan, your doctor may advise you to undergo a surgical procedure. Typically, though, doctors reserve surgery for those who have numbness, muscular weakness, incontinence or mobility issues.
During surgery, a surgeon may remove the bulging part of your herniated disk. This should alleviate your pain and allow you to return to normal activities. Before you get to that point, though, you are apt to need physical rehabilitation.
Ultimately, because life is too short to live with unaddressed back pain, pursuing the right treatment for your herniated disk should be high on your priority list.