Non-Surgical Treatment Options For A Herniated Disc
Back pain is one of the toughest things to live with. It can really slow you down, limiting movement and flexibility. Additionally, the pain can even take away the desire to do certain activities. One common cause of back pain is a slipped or herniated disc in the spinal column. The pain that is caused can range from very slight to very painful and can change depending on your activity level. There are some non-surgical treatment options to try, and the effectiveness will be different from one person to the next, but they are a good place to start if surgery is not something you want to deal with.
What Is A Herniated Disc?
Often times we hear the term slipped disc used to describe a herniated disc in the back. Basically what happens is that the soft, jelly-like material that is between the vertebrae in your back gets dislodged and moves. The material can put pressure on the nerves in the area and cause a great deal of pain. As the condition worsens, the pressure on the nerve grows and with it, the pain. Along with the pain, weakness or numbness in the extremities can also result from the nerve being irritated and compressed.
Chiropractic Treatment For Your Back
Depending on the severity of the herniated disc, a chiropractor may be able to make adjustments to your back that will relieve the pressure on the nerves, reducing the pain that you are feeling. The solution might be regular trips to the chiropractor for pain management and some people have great results with this option. In some cases, this is not an alternative and a more aggressive approach may be necessary.
Like chiropractic, physical therapy is often used to reduce the misalignment of the spinal column and reduce the pain that you are feeling. In some cases, this approach works very well and with prescribed exercises, you may be able to manage the pain completely or at least reduce it enough to make life easier.
Injections and Medications
Oral steroids are sometimes given as a way to reduce the inflammation in the disc. The concept is to reduce the swelling of the disc so it relieves the pressure on the nerve. This is again, a great option for some people but not always enough for others. In some cases, the doctor may recommend injecting medication straight into the spine to reduce the inflammation and while this works on the same principle, it is a more direct and aggressive method of delivering the medication to the disc. If all of these methods fail, surgery may be the next step but talk with your doctor to see if there is anything else they might recommend before making that decision.
If you're struggling with pain, talk to your doctor about the right herniated disc treatment for you.