Treatments & Conditions

At the OHSU Spine Center we offer a full range of treatment for herniated discs. The right treatment for you depends on:

  • How severe your symptoms are
  • How long you have had symptoms
  • How much the disc is pressing on the nerves or spinal cord

Pre-Treatment Plan

At your first appointment, your doctor will have reviewed your comprehensive health questionnaire. Your answers give the doctor detailed information about your pain and ability to function. This will help determine how serious your symptoms are  and what treatments will be most helpful.

We offer discography, a test to diagnose pain from a herniated disc.  

Conservative (Non-Surgical) Treatment

If you have mild or moderate symptoms, you might be treated without surgery. Treatments include:

After your pain is controlled with injections or pain medication, you might have physical therapy. Treatments can include:

  • Core strength training
  • Balance training
  • Gentle traction (for discs in the neck)

Physical therapy relieves symptoms for many people with herniated discs.  

Surgical Treatment

Your spine doctor might recommend surgery if your symptoms don't improve after a few weeks of other treatment, or if you have warning signs indicating you need emergency surgery.  

Discectomy is the most common surgical treatment for herniated discs. Other options are laminotomy or laminectomy. The right type of surgery for you depends on:

  • Where your herniated disc (or discs) are
  • Your symptoms
  • Your surgeon's preference