Treatments for a Herniated Disc
Along your spine, protective discs with hard exteriors and soft interiors fill the gaps between your vertebrae. They provide cushion to help prevent injuries. A herniated disc happens when the soft interior of one of your discs pushes through the hard exterior, causing a range of painful symptoms. This can be by certain movements such as twisting or turning the wrong way. Often herniated discs occur as a result of aging-related wear and tear and an exact cause can be hard to pinpoint. The good news is there are treatments available that can help manage and alleviate herniated disc pain.
Initially, or for mild herniated disc pain, your doctor may suggest at-home remedies. They include:
- Alternating between rest and gentle activity, such as walking
- Over-the-counter pain medications to alleviate pain and inflammation
- Applying cold packs for the first few days, then switching to heat
Your doctor may also suggest the use of various prescription medications if over-the-counter medications do not work for your pain. These include:
- Narcotic pain relievers for more severe pain
- Muscle relaxants for cases that involve muscle spasms
- Cortisone injections for cases the involve painful inflammation around the site
- Anticonvulsants for cases the involve nerve pain
Patients who are treating themselves at home should take their medications exactly as prescribed by their doctor. Do not stay in bed or sit for prolonged periods.
Physical therapy involves practicing movements that will help strengthen the area around your injury, your posture and your back in general. The goal is to relieve the stress on your herniated disc and prevent further injury.
In the most severe cases, your doctor may recommend surgery. If your herniated disc produces severe pain, loss of bladder function and/or problems standing and walking after you've tried home remedies, physical therapy or even alternative solutions, surgery may be your only option for relief.
Alternative Approaches to Herniated Disc Treatment
If you are looking to supplement your herniated disc treatment with pain-relieving activities, the following are some of the more popular options:
- Yoga to stretch and strengthen the back
- Massage to loosen up the muscles of your back
- Acupuncture for pain and nerve complaints
If you are suffering from herniated disc pain, we can help. Contact Colorado Clinic today at (970) 355-3225 for more information on how we can tailor a pain management plan that will be best for you. We’ll support and assists you through every step of the way to a pain-free life.