Herniated Discs

What is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc is the rupture of a spinal disc, which is the soft cushion that sits between each vertebra of the spine. When the disc ruptures, a small part of the spinal disc is pushed outside its normal boundary, and the spinal nerves and spinal cord may become pinched. Our spine surgeons typically suggest conservative, or nonsurgical, treatment initially, but if the symptoms persist, more aggressive treatments are recommended.

Conservative treatments for herniated discs usually consist of the following options:

Activity Modification
If you have a herniated disc, you should rest and avoid strenuous activities. Herniated discs may restore themselves if given time.

Ice and Heat Applications
Applying ice and heat can be very helpful in relieving pain, because the hot and cold temperatures relax the muscles of the back.

Physical Therapy
A good physical therapy program will help strengthen the lumbar muscles in your back, giving you added support and a reduction in pain.

Anti-Inflammatory Medications
Our spine specialists can prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to help relieve the pain from a herniated disc. These medications can relieve some of the pressure on the compressed nerves and should be used under supervision.

Epidural Steroid Injections
Injections of cortisone directly into the area of the nerve compression can also be administered. Injections will relieve the pressure on the nerve.

Should conservative treatments not prove effective, surgical techniques will be considered. The goal of surgery is to decrease pain and give the patient normal mobility. Recovery from a herniated disc surgery can take anywhere from four to six weeks.

If you’re suffering from back pain and would like to see a doctor, call our spine doctors at Wisconsin Bone and Joint.

Our team is here for you

When conservative care and treatment is appropriate, we offer the best, least invasive, least aggressive treatment options to relieve your pain and discomfort. When an injury is more serious and conservative care is not an option, our orthopedic surgeons provide the latest in innovative surgical interventions available with the goal of getting you back to the life you love. Wisconsin Bone & Joint physicians offer orthopedic services at three convenient locations in Mayfair, Glendale and Cedarburg.