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Introduction to herniated discs

When a person is suffering from a herniated disc the main goal of any kind of treatment is to relieve the pain and the other symptoms that accompany the problem.

For this to occur, a proper diagnosis is needed by a medical professional, to locate the exact source of the problem and the severity of the symptoms before recommending a proper treatment.

First, a patient will be advised to take some type of conservative action, which is usually non-surgical. However, a doctor might assess that it would be best to operate on the herniated disc as soon as possible.

For instance, when the patient is experiencing constant and progressive weakness in the arms or legs as a result of a herniated disc pinching the nerves, then the surgical intervention needs to be scheduled immediately.

If a surgery is not performed, as soon as possible,  there is a chance that nerve loss can occur and cause permanent nerve damage that cannot be remedied.

Conservative treatments

When it is a lumbar or cervical herniated disc, then the conservative treatments will be used, at first, in order to get rid of the pain as much as possible.

A person needs to try several different methods of treatment in order to figure out what works best for them personally, and what will give the best relief for the discomfort.

There are medications that can be used for pain relief, but also physical therapy is recommended.

Physical therapy will help the patients tolerate other treatments better and it is good to get used to such therapy, since it will probably be needed for the recovery afterwards if a surgery is recommended to fix the problem in the end.

If the non-surgical treatments are working well enough, then the patient can continue to use them, but if they are not, then they will probably have to go under the knife.

Surgical treatments

If the conservative treatments prove to be ineffective, then one of the possible surgical methods for treating a herniated disc is a lumbar decompression surgery. During a minimally invasive microdiscectomy procedure, the herniated part of the disc that is pressing on the nerve is removed, which will give the nerve root space and relieve the pain that is being caused by the disc pressing on the nerve. It will also allow the nerve root to begin to heal.

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