Back pain is incredibly common, and usually, it is temporary and manageable. In fact, about 75% of the time, back pain will resolve itself on its own within about a month— even less if it is being addressed with the right combination of strengthening exercises and rest. Still, back pain can easily become a chronic or recurring condition, and even temporary acute back pain can make living a normal life challenging. This is especially true if you have a herniated disc.
A herniated disc is essentially when a part of the disc cushioning vertebrae in your spine gets pushed out. This often pinches the nerve, causing pain both at the site of the injury and in other parts of the body. Most people come in complaining of leg or arm pain referred by the pinched nerve next to the slipped disc. A herniated disc can be particularly painful and slower to heal than other common causes of back pain.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get the pain relief you need for your herniated disc. Doctors have few effective solutions. Most commonly they will simply tell you to wait it out with the help of pain medication. Sadly, anti-inflammatory medications and acetaminophen have been shown little more effective than sugar pills in some studies. With the side effects of these drugs, they can sometimes even make a bad situation worse. For pain that refuses to go away, some doctors may suggest surgery, even though, it is unnecessary in at least 90% of cases. You will have a long, painful recovery afterward. Even worse, many of these back surgeries will fail altogether.
Holistic Pain Relief for Herniated Discs
So what can you do to relieve your pack pain associated with a slipped disc? If you’re like me, you simply don’t have time to wait around for the disc herniation to heal itself. Luckily there are a few things you can do to get holistic pain relief for herniated discs.
strengthening exercises, chiropracticDo strengthening exercises. As your core muscles get stronger, the herniated disc will start to feel better.
Get treated using Active Release Technique. The manual manipulation can help remove scar tissue and adhesions in the soft tissue around the herniation, which will help the healing process. Plus, lowered pressure equals less pain.
Walk. Simply increasing the amount you walk every day will help strengthen your back, which will take pressure off the herniation. You’ll even sometimes be able to work through the pain.
Drink more water. The intervertebral discs in your spine are 80% water. Staying hydrated will help them remain healthy and reduce inflammation.
Avoid sitting or standing for long periods of time. Maintaining a single position is hard on your back. Instead, keep moving as much as possible. When you need to rest, lay on your back with your knees raised and supported.
Do low impact exercise (but don’t push yourself too hard!). Movement is good, especially exercise. Just don’t push yourself too hard or you can make the pain (and the herniation) worse.
Practice mindful meditation. It may sound crazy, but doctors have proven that mindful meditation can actively reduce back pain and many other symptoms. If you are suffering, clear your mind and meditate. You may be surprised at the difference even ten minutes of meditation a day can make.
Healing the Herniated Disc for Good
chiropractic, back painMany of those suggestions are simply temporary fixes or preventative measures unless the root cause of the herniation is resolved, however. For the most part, the body can heal itself when it comes to disc herniations. Unless the spine has experienced serious trauma or the herniation is particularly severe, the body generally has the ability to recover with time. Still, you can remove some of the damage that causes pain and help the body heal the herniation through manual chiropractic manipulation.
Chiropractic care has been proven a safe, effective way to treat back pain and help disc herniations heal. The Journal of the American Medical Association recommends chiropractic care as a treatment to consider before ever turning to surgery in its back pain guidelines. If you are suffering from a herniated disc or recurrent back pain, I invite you to come into our offices at Rosenberg Wellness Center today for a free consultation to find out how you can get pain relief for your herniated disc and improved healing today.
You are not without options. You can eliminate your back pain for good. It just takes a holistic, science-based approach to pain relief for herniated discs.