Occasional back pain is usually nothing to worry about, but what if your back pain has been persisting for a week or more with absolutely no improvement? Sometimes severe and persistent back pain is caused by a slipped disc, which is a significant injury that needs to be addressed. Luckily, there are many different ways to treat the pain and effects of a slipped disc. Here are some things you can try, as well as some information about what your doctor might recommend.
There are a number of things you can do to ease your discomfort from a slipped disc without medical intervention. Heat application is a good place to start. Use a heating pad for 20 minutes every couple of hours in conjunction with an over-the-counter, anti-inflammatory pain reliever. You may also find that yoga and various stretches can help to ease some of your discomfort.
Non-invasive Medical Treatments
If the home treatments don't resolve the problem, you may need to see your doctor for further care. Depending on the severity of the inflammation, your doctor may prescribe some form of muscle relaxer to help ease the muscle tension around the disc. He or she will probably refer you for physical therapy as well. Sometimes, an electrical stimulation device can help ease pain as well. In some cases, seeking treatment from a chiropractor can also help.
Minimally-invasive Medical Treatments
When the non-invasive treatments aren't enough for you to recover, your doctor may suggest further steps. For example, cortisone injections around the area of the affected disc may help to encourage healing. For pain relief, an epidural shot is sometimes suggested.
In situations where the injury is severe or your symptoms persist beyond several weeks, your doctor may ultimately advise that you undergo surgery to repair your injury. Endoscopic surgery is the most popular treatment in this situation. During this surgery, very small incisions are made to remove the problematic tissue. You'll face some healing and recovery time after this, but in most situations, the surgery will resolve the pain and restore your range of motion.
Understanding the different treatment options can help you to manage your back pain due to a slipped disc. If you're not sure what's causing your pain, it's always best to consult your doctor first. That way, you can be sure that you are treating the right type of injury and not inadvertently causing yourself further damage. Contact a chiropractic office like Progressive Chiropractic for more information.