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Slipped Disk (cont.)

What Is the Treatment for a Slipped Disc?

The doctor often prescribes rest or limited activity for several days followed by gradual increase in activity over the next few weeks. Strict bed rest is generally not advised because people with back pain have been shown to recover more quickly with normal activity as long as lifting, bending, and straining are limited.

Treat with ice or cold packs early after an injury and switch to heat later. Heat may be used early if the pain and symptoms are not caused by a sudden injury.

Physical therapy, exercise, and massage can be helpful if indicated (always check with your doctor before resuming any stressful activity).

What Medications Treat a Slipped Disc?

Anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen (Motrin) and others, may be recommended. These can generally be safely taken with acetaminophen (Tylenol) as home remedies for a slipped disc. Medicines to relax the surrounding muscle tightness and spasms are sometimes used (cyclobenzaprine, [Flexeril] or diazepam [Valium]). A short course of a medical steroid (corticosteroids, similar to cortisone), such as prednisone, prednisolone, and methylprednisolone (Medrol), also may be used. Injections of cortisone (Depo-Medrol, Kenalog) can help suppress the inflammation and therefore the associated pain. For pain relief, narcotic medication is sometimes added for a short period of time.

Sometimes, drugs that treat "nerve pain" such as gabapentin (Neurontin), pregabalin (Lyrica), or tramadol (Ultram) can help relieve the pain.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017

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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Lumbrosacral Disc Injuries »

Injuries to the intervertebral discs of the lumbosacral spine are invoked as a causative factor in one of the most common health problems in the United States — low back pain (LBP).

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