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Treatment options for a collapsed disc in the lower back

If you have been diagnosed with a collapsed disc in your lumbar spine (the lower back), then major surgery is not your only treatment option. In fact, there are several conservative therapies that may help you reduce your pain, improve your mobility and enhance your quality of life.

What is a collapsed disc?

Spinal discs feature two layers — a soft, gel-like core and a fibrous outer wall. When a disc has “collapsed,” its outer wall has worn down and begun to develop small tears, causing the disc to lose height and its natural shape. When this happens, the vertebrae on either side of the disc can move closer together. This movement may irritate spinal nerve roots or the spinal cord and trigger disruptive symptoms like localized or radiating pain, numbness, tingling sensations and loss of coordination.

What are my treatment options?

Each patient’s ideal course of collapsed disc treatment will vary according to the details surrounding their diagnosis. For example, a young athlete will likely require a different treatment approach than a senior with osteoarthritis. Depending on your age, overall health and several other factors, your physician may recommend:

  • Physical therapy
  • Anti-inflammatory injections
  • Pain medications and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Low-impact exercise and gentle stretching

You may also choose to explore alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, chiropractic care and yoga. While the effectiveness of these methods is still up for debate in the medical community, some patients report positive results from alternative treatments.

In the event that conservative and alternative therapies continually fail to relieve your symptoms, surgery to relieve nerve compression or stabilize the spine may be your best treatment option. In these cases, USA Spine Care offers a safer and effective alternative to traditional open spine operations.^ Our outpatient procedures only require a less than 1-inch incision and are performed by board-certified surgeons+ at our world-class surgery centers.

Contact USA Spine Care to learn how we can help you Stand Tall.® To discover if you are a candidate for our collapsed disc procedures, ask us how to receive a free MRI review.*

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