9 Tips On Healing A Slipped Disc
A disc that has slipped, also known as a herniated or prolapsed disc, occurs when one of the discs in the spine ruptures and the gel inside leaks. This can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in different areas of the body, depending on the affected nerve. Though the situation might sound daunting, most people recover with conservative treatment from a chiropractic clinic. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how to heal a slipped disc.
1. Rest and Pain Management
When you first experience a slipped disc, rest is important. Try to avoid strenuous activities, particularly those that involve bending, lifting, or twisting your back. Over-the-counter non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen can help manage the pain.
2. Physical Therapy
Once the initial pain has subsided, a physical therapist can design an individualized exercise program that can strengthen your spinal muscles, improve your posture, and increase your flexibility. This can help to alleviate pressure on the disc and reduce your symptoms.
3. Lifestyle Modifications
Maintaining a healthy weight and adopting a good posture can reduce pressure on your spine and prevent further problems. Regular exercise can also keep your spine strong and flexible, reducing the likelihood of a slipped disc.
4. Hot and Cold Compress
Using hot and cold compresses can provide relief from a slipped disc. Heat therapy can reduce muscle spasms and cold therapy can reduce inflammation. Apply a hot or cold pack to the affected area for 15-20 minutes at a time.
5. Conservative Treatments
Your healthcare provider might recommend non-surgical treatments such as corticosteroid injections to reduce inflammation and pain. These injections are usually given in conjunction with physical therapy.
6. Complementary Therapies
Some people find relief from alternative therapies such as acupuncture, chiropractic treatment, and massage. These should be used as complementary to the primary treatment recommended by your healthcare provider.
7. Surgical Options
If conservative treatments are not effective, surgery may be an option. The goal of surgery is to remove or repair the part of the disc that’s pressing on the nerve. Common surgical procedures include microdiscectomy and lumbar decompression surgery. These procedures are typically safe and effective, but like all surgeries, they do carry some risks.
8. Recovery and Rehabilitation
After surgery, physical therapy is crucial to recover strength and flexibility in your spine. It’s important to follow your physical therapist’s recommendations for exercises and activity restrictions to ensure a successful recovery.
9. Mental Health Support
Living with chronic pain from a slipped disc can be challenging and can affect your mental health. Consider seeking support from a psychologist or counselor who specializes in helping people cope with chronic pain.
In conclusion, healing from a slipped disc usually involves a combination of rest, pain management, physical therapy, and potentially surgery. It’s important to work with a healthcare professional to develop a treatment plan that’s tailored to your specific needs. Remember, while it’s a painful and often frustrating condition, most people with a slipped disc do recover with time and appropriate treatment.