Suffering from a pinched nerve in your neck, back, or arms can really be painful. It often slows down your daily activities. When you've tried everything at home to heal your pain and it still won't go away, there are many treatment options available. Dr. Michael Perry at Laser Spine Institute shares some ideas of what to do.
"The first and best is conservative treatment: physical therapy and pain management. When conservative therapy fails, surgery might be an option. We can also introduce a small tube into the disc and decompress it and remove part of that disc and retract it away from the nerve that is pinching and causing the pain. Another approach is going through the back and opening up the canal by removing a small piece of bone and opening up the canal where the nerve exits," explains Dr. Perry. He says those procedures are minimally invasive in an outpatient setting. Plus, he says patients should get immediate relief, right off the operating table.
Other types of back pain, especially if it radiates down your leg, or you've felt numbness in your arms or leg, it could be a disc problem. Again, Dr. Perry believes patients should begin with conservative therapy. "Sometimes they can tolerate it with medications, anti-inflammatories, ice/heat, and let it rest," explains Dr. Perry.
"If there are symptoms associated with the pain like weakness, that should be looked at by the primary care physician or family doctor. Typically when there is a disc problem, the disc is abnormal - it will never go back to normal, so I always tell you, once a spine patient, always a spine patient. It's important to maintain an exercise program, strengthen the abdominal and back muscles and prevent further injury or trauma. A disc problem is just an abnormality, a bulge, a protrusion or herniation, or extrusion. Basically, the disc is extended beyond where it should be, compressing the nerve, and causing pain," says Dr. Perry.
For more information, visit http://www.laserspineinstitute.com/.
If you have a question to Ask the Doctor, you can reach out to Melissa on Facebook at Melissa Wilson FOX 26 or on Twitter @MelissaFox26.