Ruptured discs, also known as herniated discs, are a common source of back and neck pain. They are caused when the soft inner nucleus of a spinal disc is forced out through a tear in the outer wall of the disc, often due to age-related wear and tear or traumatic injury.
The good news is that many ruptured discs can heal on their own. This is typically done through a combination of rest, medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair the disc, but this is usually only considered if the pain is severe and other treatments have not been successful.
Rest is an important part of disc healing. When the disc is ruptured, the body is trying to heal the tear and reduce inflammation. Rest will help to reduce the strain on the disc and give the body time to repair itself.
Medication can also help to reduce pain and inflammation associated with a ruptured disc. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, are commonly used to reduce inflammation and relieve pain. Your doctor may also prescribe muscle relaxants or other medications to help reduce muscle spasms and reduce pain.
Physical therapy can help to reduce pain and improve mobility by strengthening the muscles around the affected disc. This can help to reduce the strain on the disc, allowing it to heal naturally. Physical therapy can also help to improve posture, which can also help to reduce strain on the disc.
Lifestyle changes can also help to reduce the strain on the disc and promote healing. This can include losing weight, if necessary, as well as avoiding activities that put a strain on the affected disc.
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair a ruptured disc. This is typically only considered if other treatments have not been successful in relieving pain and restoring mobility. Surgery to repair a disc is usually done through a minimally invasive procedure and can help to reduce pain and improve mobility.
Overall, many ruptured discs can heal on their own with rest, medication, physical therapy, and lifestyle changes. Surgery is usually only considered if other treatments have not been successful in relieving pain and restoring mobility. It’s important to talk to your doctor if you are experiencing pain or other symptoms to determine the best treatment plan for you.