The term “collapsed disc” is not an accepted medical term. It is actually a colloquialism that is used to describe any spinal conditions (such as a bulging disc or degenerative disc disease) that cause loss of an intervertebral disc’s height and regular shape. This condition causes no symptoms unless loss of disc height or shape causes neural tissue compression. While some patients remain completely unaware of these spinal conditions because they experience no symptoms, others can suffer for weeks, months, or years. If you are experiencing the pain, numbness and tingling that is often associated with a collapsed disc, you may wonder if you have this spinal condition.
How to receive relief
Anyone who experiences chronic pain or discomfort in their back or neck and thinks it may be due to a collapsed disc should visit a primary care physician to receive a proper diagnosis and a personalized treatment. During your office visit, your physician will probably use some or all of the following means to diagnose the cause of your discomfort:
- Medical history evaluation
- Physical exam
- CT scan
- Blood tests
Once your physician has a firm diagnosis, conservative treatments will typically be prescribed. This may include prescription or over-the-counter pain medications, physical therapy, hot or cold compresses, or bed rest. More aggressive treatments, such as traditional open back surgery, are typically reserved for patients who fail to respond to conservative treatment.
Releasing trapped nerves through surgery
If your physician has recommended surgery, you should determine the least invasive and efficacious surgical treatment possible. The safe and effective procedures performed by Laser Spine Institute are an alternative to traditional open spinal surgery. Our endoscopic procedures present fewer risks than traditional open-back surgery and allow many patients to recover much more quickly. Contact Laser Spine Institute to schedule a complimentary review of your MRI or CT scan and to learn more.