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What type of treatment is best for a herniated disk?

There are many causes of a herniated disk, such as attempting to lift an item that is too heavy.

If you suffer this injury, it goes without saying that you'll soon realize that the pain and discomfort is very real. For this reason, you'll do whatever it takes to find a treatment strategy that provides relief.

Since no two patients are the same, the type of treatment you receive for a herniated disk may not be exactly the same as the next person.

For some people, a conservative treatment strategy is more than enough to heal their injury. This can include medication combined with planned exercise and therapy.

Others, however, find that they are unable to overcome their injury with a conservative approach. Instead, they need surgery in order to find relief.

Surgery typically comes into play if you're unable to find relief after a period of one to two months. In this case, your doctor may suggest a procedure in which the disk is permanently removed.

Although surgery is not the preferred method of treatment, if it's the only option it's something to carefully consider.

In the event that you suffer a herniated disk on the job, you should notify your employer as soon as possible. Explain the events leading up to the injury, as well as the type of treatment you will require.

If you're unable to return to work, it's time to file a claim for workers' compensation benefits. After doing so, it's your hope that you begin to receive payments in the near future. If your claim is denied, don't wait to file an appeal.

Source: Mayo Clinic, "Treatment," accessed April 19, 2017

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