Spinal disc herniation, commonly referred to as a slipped disc, is a serious and often painful condition that may arise after a trauma or develop slowly over time. Learning how to deal with a slipped disc is crucial if you want to speed up your recovery and avoid further damage or even surgery. Below are some of the best ways to treat and recover from a slipped disc.
Consult with a Physician:
The first and most important step is speak with your physician in order to properly diagnose the issue. In some cases, what feels like a slipped disc might only be a strain or fatigue, while other times it may be even more serious. A doctor can recommend treatment, offer referrals, and prescribe anti-inflammatory or pain-relieving medication if necessary.
Follow Up With a Physical Therapist:
A physical therapist will be able recommend light stretching and exercise routines to relieve pain and avoid further irritation. Prescribed stretching and cardio helps to improve blood flow to your back and provide oxygen for the healing disc. A physical therapist may also recommend massage, thermotherapy, or icing as treatment alternatives.
Take it Easy:
In most cases, it will be important to limit your physical activity and take the stain off of your injured back, especially if your sipped disc was the result of a sudden, severe injury. Your physician will be able to advise you on how much bed rest you should take - in some cases, too much rest can actually harm recovery by leading to muscle weakness and degeneration.
Excess body weight can cause a slipped disc to worsen over time, and may contribute to a recurring injury in the future. Since you won't be able to engage in physical exercise, eating a healthy and well-balanced diet during the recovery period can help you maintain or even lose weight, reducing the strain on your slipped disc in the process. Focus on staying hydrated and eating a diet rich in whole grains, lean meats, and colorful vegetables. Diets high in leafy green vegetables and antioxidant-rich fruits can promote recuperation and reduce inflammation, speeding recovery time.
In severe cases, the only way to relive the pain of a slipped disc may be through a surgical procedure that removes a portion or even all of the herniated disc. Known as a microdiscectomy, this procedure is an invasive treatment that may have to be repeated after a few years. In some cases the surgeon may make an abdominal incision to access the injured disc, but generally the procedure will be accomplished directly via the spine. Your physician will be able to discuss whether surgery is a viable option for you, as well as the expected recovery time.
See a Chiropractor:
According to Dr. Cody Nix, a Heber Valley chiropractor, chiropractic treatment can be an excellent option for many slipped disc sufferers. A chiropractor will work with you to develop a detailed treatment plan that may involve direct spinal manipulation, manual therapy, and traditional therapeutic techniques, depending on your health and the degree of your pain. While there are misconceptions about chiropractors "popping" herniated discs back into place, the reality is that chiropractic care involves long-term, low-impact treatments to relieve pain and pressure.
No matter what forms of treatment your physician recommends, it is vital that you be patient and understand that a full recovery takes time. In most cases, a slipped disc will only require some rest and physical therapy. If you feel severe on long-lasting pain in your lower back, especially following an accident or injury, don't wait until it's too late to consult with a medical professional about your condition.
By Lizzie Weakley
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