Here are some treatments on offer from our Harvard-trained specialized pain doctors:
An epidural steroid injection is a great alternative to surgical treatment. It combines a corticosteroid (anti-inflammatory medicine) and a local anesthetic to target pain. It is a common treatment option to relieve herniated disc pain in lower back and can provide immediate pain relief.
First, a pain doctor will use imaging techniques to take a picture of the area of pain. This will be done using either a CT scan (computed tomography) or MRI scan (magnetic resonance imaging) to determine the location of the nerve pain. The pain doctor will then administer the epidural steroid injection to relieve herniated disc pain in lower back.
Epidural injections tend to last for a short period of time. However, the short-term benefit from immediate pain reduction in lower back and leg can help patients to progress to a rehabilitation and stretching program. It is an excellent way to feel the benefit from immediate pain relief without surgical intervention.
It is important that a specialized pain doctor assess your condition before referring you to physical therapy. During an assessment, your physical therapist will examine your area of pain. They may also note your medical history to help inform the treatment plan. Your physical therapist will then provide you with exercises and modalities tailored to your treatment plan. The pain treatment clinic can provide excellent recommendations for a suitable physical therapist.
3. Heat Therapy
Muscle spasms may occur as a result of herniated disc pain in lower back. These muscle spasms can cause a lot of discomfort. Heat therapy is a short-term method to relieve herniated disc pain in lower back and another effective non-surgical alternative. The heat works by helping the muscles to relax, thereby stopping the muscular spasms and subsequent pain and discomfort.
Now that we have reviewed how to relieve herniated disc pain in lower back, it is important to understand what can cause a disc to herniate.
The spine is composed of many bones (vertebrae) that stack one on top of the other. Each bone is cushioned by a disc. The discs act as shock absorbers and protect us from daily activities like walking, lifting and twisting. These shock-absorbing discs are made of two parts. There is a jelly-like nucleus on the inside of the disc and a tougher, outer ring. When a disc herniates, it means the jelly-like nucleus has been squeezed from the inner portion of the disc. This causes the inner portion to protrude through the outer ring and this is why we have a herniated (also known as prolapsed) disc.
The reason we get pain when this occurs is because our spine contains lots of nerves that branch off to send messages to the rest of our body. When a disc herniates, it can push against these nerve passageways which causes pain, numbness and tingling sensations.
Many doctors can be quick to recommend surgical interventions. However, our specialized pain doctors at The Pain Treatment Clinic and our team at the Vein Treatment Clinic and Pain Treatment Specialists can provide exceptional, minimally-invasive treatments at our state-of-the-art medical facilities.
Symptoms of a herniated disc in the lower back
The lower back is a common area for herniated discs. A herniated disc can cause extra pressure to be placed on the nerves and muscles surrounding it. Here are some common symptoms associated with a herniated disc in lower back:
- tingling, aching, or burning sensations in the affected area
- pain, numbness and tingling on one side of the body
- leg pain (burning and searing sensation of pain) that extends from the lower back down the leg
- pain that extends to our arms or legs
- pain that gets worse after sitting, standing or at night
- unexplained muscle weakness
Risk Factors for herniated discs in the lower back
- Weight – people who are overweight are more at risk because the spine has to support additional weight
- Age – discs in the spine can sometimes lose some of their protective water content, meaning they can move out of place more easily.
- Physically-demanding work – jobs that require you to lift heavy objects can cause pressure to be placed on lower back regions. This can lead to a herniated disc due to wear and tear over a period of time.
Conservative treatments for back pain
It is important that you discuss all non-surgical treatment options with your pain doctor. Patients may believe that surgery and long-term reliance on medication is how to relieve herniated disc pain in lower back. During an initial consultation, your pain doctor will gather your medical history and the nature of the complaint in order to establish a treatment plan for you. At the pain treatment clinic, we can offer many non-surgical, minimally-invasive treatments to get you back to great health.
We have an outstanding team of highly experienced specialized pain doctors.
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Our state-of-the-art facilities and Harvard-trained doctors provide you with care of the highest quality.
Alternatively, you can also find out more information from our group of physicians based at the Vein Treatment Clinic and Pain Treatment Specialists.