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Nonsurgical Treatment

Unless your condition is causing significant problems or is rapidly getting worse, most physicians will begin with nonsurgical treatments.

The treatment of lumbar disk herniation often depends on the severity of a patient’s symptoms and the severity of neurologic compression. Patients with mild or moderate symptoms may respond well to conservative treatments, such as oral antiinflammatory and pain medicines.

Some patients are given an epidural-space injection. The spinal cord is covered by a material called dura. The space between the dura and the spinal column is called the epidural space. Injecting steroid medicine into this space may help fight inflammation around the nerves, the disks and the facet joints. This can reduce swelling of the nerve that is compressed because of disk herniation.

Patients often work with a physical therapist. By evaluating your condition, your therapist can assign positions and exercises to ease your symptoms. Your therapist may suggest using traction to gently stretch the low back and take pressure off the spinal nerves. Your therapist also may suggest strengthening and aerobic exercises for your back and abdominal muscles.

Thoracic Disk Herniation Resources