Conservative treatment — mainly modifying activities to avoid movement that causes pain and taking pain medication — relieves symptoms in most people within a few days or weeks.
· Over-the-counter pain medications. If your pain is mild to moderate, your doctor might recommend over-the-counter pain medication.
· Cortisone injections. If your pain doesn't improve with oral medications, your doctor might recommend a corticosteroid that can be injected into the area around the spinal nerves.
· Muscle relaxers. You might be prescribed these if you have muscle spasms. Sedation and dizziness are common side effects.
· Opioids. If other medication doesn't relieve your pain, your doctor might consider short-term use of opioids.
Physical therapy often plays a major role in herniated disc recovery. Its methods not only offer immediate pain relief, but they also teach you how to condition your body to prevent further injury. There are a variety of physical therapy techniques. Passive treatments relax your body and include deep tissue massage, hot and cold therapy, electrical stimulation (e.g., TENS), and hydrotherapy. Your physical therapy program will usually begin with passive treatments. But once your body heals, you will start active treatments that strengthen your body and prevent further pain. Your physical therapist will work with you to develop a plan that best suits you.
Passive Physical Treatments for Herniated Discs
- Core stability
- Muscle strengthening: