An annular tear is a degenerative spinal condition that can produce painful symptoms. Most often the result of the natural spinal degeneration that occurs as we grow older, this condition is characterized by a rip in the tough outside wall of a spinal disc that has become brittle or lost its elasticity. If pressure on the disc’s inner nucleus causes it to push through the tear and enter the spinal canal, the result is a herniated disc.
Tips for relieving pain caused by an annular tear
If you are suffering from an annular tear that has resulted in a disc herniation, the likelihood of you experiencing painful symptoms is high. When portions of the damaged disc come in contact with a nearby nerve root or the spinal cord, symptoms such as pain, numbness, muscle weakness, tingling and back spasms can develop. However, you will be happy to learn that there are several ways that you can reduce both your pain and inflammation. Some options include:
- Having an epidural injection. Steroid injections can provide immediate but temporary pain and inflammation relief.
- Trying therapeutic massage. A massage can relax the muscles supporting the damaged disc and help relieve the pressure that is causing discomfort.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Over-the-counter and prescription medications can help decrease inflammation in the spine, which, in turn, could reduce the nerve compression and lessen your pain.
- Seeing a chiropractor. Manipulating the spine can help improve its alignment and potentially reduce pain and inflammation.
- Lifestyle modifications. Losing excess weight and practicing healthier habits can help ease the amount of strain on the spine.
In many cases, following a nonsurgical treatment plan for several months will decrease your annular tear symptoms enough for you to be able to resume normal activity. In more severe cases, however, symptoms may persist or even worsen. If your condition hasn’t responded to conservative and alternative therapies, you may want to consider minimally invasive spine surgery at USA Spine Care. Our board-certified surgeons+ treat a full range of degenerative spine conditions through minimally invasive outpatient procedures that are a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine surgery.^
We can provide a free MRI review* to help determine if you are a candidate our minimally invasive annular tear treatment. Contact USA Spine Care today to learn more.