Sunday, February 26, 2012

Work-Related Herniated Disc: Non-Surgical Treatment Options

Low back herniated disc injuries are the most common work-related injury we see in our Minnesota workers’ compensation practice. 

While a good portion of our clients do ultimately require some sort of surgery to address their herniated discs, many of our clients experience improvements in their condition, or they are able to manage their symptoms through other, non-surgical medical treatments.

During the initial time period following a lumbar herniated disc injury, many patients will try a variety of “conservative” treatments to alleviate pain from the herniated disc, and to give the disc herniation time to heal. If an injured worker experiences symptom relief with non-surgical options within the first several weeks following the disc herniated injury, continued non-surgical treatment may be appropriate.

Some types of non-surgical disc herniation treatment options include:

Chiropractic treatment and physical therapy. If symptoms persist for several weeks, a trial of chiropractic or osteopathic manipulation and/or physical therapy may be warranted. The goals of chiropractic/osteopathic manipulation and physical therapy are to reduce pain and to help the patient return to his or her normal level of function.

Medications. Medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce inflammation and pain caused by a disc herniation. Oral steroids may also be utilized to try to reduce inflammation promote healing of a herniated disc. Narcotic pain medications may be prescribed to reduce acute pain. Muscle relaxers may be prescribed to reduce muscle spasm, and to encourage healing in the affected area.

Epidural steroid injections. Injections of steroids directly into the area of the disc herniation can help reduce inflammation and promote healing. Patients may experience pain relief that can last from one week up to a year. Up to three injections may be done within a year.

In Minnesota, if you sustain a work-related herniated disc, the workers’ compensation insurance company is required to pay for reasonable and necessary medical expenses, which may include chiropractic treatments and physical therapy, medications, and injections, and a variety of other medical treatments.

Lumbar herniated discs can be extremely painful and can seriously interfere with your ability to work. Herniated discs are the most common work-related injury we see in our workers’ compensation practice. To learn more about your Minnesota workers’ compensation rights, call Meuser & Associate at 877-746-5680, or click here to send us an email to schedule a free, no-obligation case consultation. 


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