The tenderness of the back will be checked during the physical exam. To find the cause of your discomfort, you may be asked to lay down and move your legs.
Your doctor may also perform a neurological test to find your:
- muscle strength
- ability to light touches, vibrations, or pinpricks
- walking ability
A medical and physical history generally diagnose a slipped disc. If your doctor suspects another illness or detects affected nerves, they may order the following tests.
- CT scan
Nerve conduction studies and electromyograms assess the efficiency with which electrical impulses travel through nerve tissue. It may aid in determining the area of nerve injury.
- Nerve conduction study
- Electromyography (EMG)
Conservative management consists of altering activities to prevent painful movement and taking pain medication, which improves symptoms in most patients within a few days or weeks.
- Medications. These include cortisone injections, opioids, OTC medications, and muscle relaxers.
- Therapy. This is used to alleviate your pain.
- Surgery. Most often, surgeons can only remove the herniated disc. It’s possible that the vertebrae will need to be grafted if they’re unstable.
Furthermore, metal hardware is inserted to give spinal stability during the bone fusion procedure. Rarely, your surgeon may recommend an artificial disc.