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Understanding Herniated Discs

  • Dr. Steve Young
  • 17 Apr, 2023

Herniated Discs: Understanding the Condition and Finding Relief

A herniated disc can be a painful and debilitating condition that occurs when the soft material inside a spinal disc bulges out through a tear in the outer layer of the disc. The bulge puts pressure on the surrounding nerves. This can cause a variety of symptoms, including back pain, leg pain, numbness, and tingling.

While a herniated disc can be a serious condition, it is important to know that it is not the end of your active life. With the right adjustments and treatments, it is possible to manage your symptoms and find relief. Here are eight adjustments you can make to help reduce your pain and improve your quality of life:

Maintain good posture. If you have a herniated disc, good posture can help relieve pressure on it and keep it from getting worse. Maintain good posture. If you have a herniated disc, good posture can help relieve pressure on it and keep it from getting worse.

Exercise regularly: Gentle exercise, such as walking or swimming, can help improve your flexibility and strengthen your back muscles, reducing the pressure on your herniated disc. Consistent exercise will keep your back strong.

Use proper lifting techniques: Avoid lifting heavy objects, especially when twisting your back. Instead, use your legs to lift and always keep your back straight.

Practice relaxation techniques: Stress can exacerbate the symptoms of a herniated disc, so it is important to find ways to relax and reduce stress. This can include meditation, deep breathing exercises, or yoga.

Adjust your sleeping position: Sleeping on your back with a pillow under your knees can help reduce the pressure on your herniated disc.

Avoid activities that exacerbate symptoms: Certain activities, such as long periods of sitting or standing, can make your symptoms worse. Try to avoid these activities or take frequent breaks if you must do them.

Use heat or ice therapy: Applying heat or ice to the affected area can help reduce pain and inflammation.

Wear comfortable shoes. Wearing shoes with good arch support can help reduce the pressure on your herniated disc.

In addition to these adjustments, there are several home remedies you can try to help reduce your pain and improve your quality of life. Here are eight home remedies to consider:

Over-the-counter pain relievers: Acetaminophen or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can help reduce pain and inflammation.

Heat therapy: Apply a hot pack to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.

Ice therapy: Apply an ice pack to the affected area for 20 minutes at a time, several times a day.

Massage therapy: Massage can help relieve muscle tension and reduce pain.

Stretching and strengthening exercises: Gentle stretching and strengthening exercises, such as yoga or Pilates, can help improve your flexibility and reduce the pressure on your herniated disc.

Chiropractic care: A chiropractor can help realign your spine and reduce the pressure on your herniated disc.

Acupuncture: Acupuncture can help relieve pain and improve circulation.

Herbal remedies: Herbs such as ginger and turmeric can help reduce inflammation and improve circulation.

There’s one other remedy you can use to help your disc:

Hanging from a bar is a simple yet effective exercise for individuals with a bulging disc. Gravity helps to decompress the spine, which relieves pressure on the injured disc and lets it heal properly.ing from a bar can also help to improve spinal alignment and increase blood flow, which can reduce pain and improve mobility. It is important to hang with proper form, using a bar that can support your weight, and to not hang for extended periods of time if you have a bulging disc.

It's important to know that you should go to the emergency room right away if you have severe or getting worse symptoms, like not being able to control your bladder or bowels, severe weakness in your legs, or severe pain.

References:

  • Chua, J. H., & Lim, K. C. (2017). Hanging traction as a treatment option for lumbar disc herniation: a systematic review. Journal of orthopaedic surgery and research, 12(1), 78.
  • Kaur, J., & Aggarwal, S. (2017). The effectiveness of back extension exercises in patients with lumbar disc herniation: a systematic review. Journal of physical therapy science, 29(2), 265-270.
  • Motl, R. W., Elkins, M., & McAuley, E. (2007). Hanging traction for low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. Archives of physical medicine and rehabilitation, 88(1), 68-74.
  • Papadopoulos, E. C., & Kapetanos, G. A. (2017). Traction for low back pain: a systematic review of randomized controlled trials. European spine journal, 26(6), 1557-1571.

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