A collapsed disc occurs when a disc in your spine loses some of its water content due to deterioration and age, causing it to shrink. When the disc collapses, the space between your vertebrae that it was cushioning is exposed, which leads to direct pain in this region.
When treating a collapsed disc, there a number of things to consider. Most importantly is how much pain or discomfort is resulting from the injury.
Treating a collapsed disc usually involves a treatment plan consisting of conservative, nonsurgical treatments. Physical therapy, pain medications, hot/cold therapy, massage, chiropractics, exercise, and stretching are usually very effective in managing your symptoms. The goal of exercise and stretching is to maintain flexibility in the spine and increase the strength of your core muscles, which assist in carrying the weight of your body.
Conservative medication consists of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroid injections to provide relief by reducing inflammation, which may help to relieve pressure placed on a compressed spinal nerve. Doctor-prescribed pain killers may also be given to eliminate any severe pain associated with the collapsed disc.
When conservative methods aren’t effective, surgery may be recommended to remove the damaged disc.