A herniated disc refers to a condition where a rubbery disc lies between the tougher exterior bones resulting in pain in the joints. The disk irritates the nearby nerves which send pain signals to the central nervous system. Sometimes, the herniated disc goes unnoticed because a person may not experience any pain or symptoms. It mainly affects the arms and the legs, especially at the joints.
There are several treatments for herniated discs depending on the place of occurrence and extent of pain that a patient feels. In this article, we are going to discuss the most common treatments for herniated discs.
- Ice and heat therapy
This is one of the most common techniques for treating herniated discs. Here, the part of the body affected by a herniated disc is covered with ice for a given period to contract all the nerves, vessels, bones, and other elements within that area. The part is then covered with heat immediately after the ice is removed to relax the muscles, bones, vessels, and nerves among others. The process is repeated until the herniated disc is released fin between the bones and the patient feels no pain. This technique should be administered by an experienced therapist.
- Physical therapy
Physical therapy is another common treatment for a herniated disc. The patient is taken through several exercises as well as gentle stretching to relieve pressure from the nerve root. It is the most used technique in treating herniated discs because it is simple to administer.
- Chiropractic manipulation
Another widely used technique in treating a herniated disc is chiropractic manipulation that involves the manipulation of the spine to force the nerve roots back to their correct alignment. It is a complex technique that is carried out by a chiropractor, who is a specialist that is qualified and well-experienced in conducting the procedure.
- Anti-inflammatory drugs
Anti-inflammatory drugs such as naproxen and ibuprofen are also used to treat herniated discs. Such a drug is gently applied on top of the affected region and allows time to get into internal parts and relieve pain.
- Oral steroids
There are also oral drugs that are swallowed to help reduce inflammation and relieve pain. The drug may not be effective enough and may require additional treatment such as physical treatment.
Lastly, you may go for epidural injections to alleviate inflammation and relieve pain. The injections are also effective means of treating herniated discs. However, you should not use injections regularly but instead embrace other techniques like physical therapy to prevent exposing your body to excess drugs.
Herniated discs can occur to anyone at any time. However, the young (between 8 – 15) and the old (50 and above) are the most victims of herniated discs because their bodies are either still growing and adjusting, or as a result of the aging process. The best way to prevent herniated discs is by doing regular body exercises to improve the agility of your body.
If you can’t seem to contain the condition by yourself, it is always advisable to seek the help of a physician, therapist, or chiropractor. It is essential to containing the herniated disc at its early stage because it can lead to serious problems if ignored. You can also look for signs and symptoms of herniated discs to know if you are experiencing it or not. Visit The Disc Doctor for a consultation.