Healing a Herniated Disc
Healing a Herniated Disc
There are many available options when looking towards healing a herniated disc injury. The wide array of treatment options span from simple rest and medication, to surgery in order to repair or remove the herniated disc. When selecting the proper treatment option for any specific case, it is very important to consider all the essential facets that influence the healing of a herniated disc, lest the condition can develop to something more serious such as permanent paralysis due to damage to a nerve.
The simplest way of healing a herniated disc is through rest, although in all honesty, it is anything but simple. Doctors typically recommend taking a break from work or from one’s normal daily routines. Afterwards, doctors advise patients to rest for 2 to 4 weeks, depending on the severity of the condition.
A rest and relaxation routine also typically includes stretching and regular exercises. These are designed to improve the muscular integrity in the back area in order to allow it to be strong enough to resist further injury to the back. Likewise, stretching routines are designed to keep the patient limber and flexible so that the back muscles do not unnecessarily tense up adding extra stress to the herniated disc. There are also many other non-invasive techniques that the doctor will probably suggest before surgery.
Of course, healing a herniated disc will not be complete without emphasis on medication. If the pain is “not that severe”, doctors will typically prescribe a battery of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medication (NSAIDs), but if the severity is already beyond what is considered tolerable, pain relievers like morphine might be used to manage the condition. The extent of the pain is also an excellent indicator if the condition can be treated with just rest and physical therapy or if surgical intervention is needed to prevent further damage and to finally relieve the condition and eliminate the underlying cause of the problem.
If the condition can only be managed with a surgical procedure, it is recommended that the patient immediately decides to proceed towards the healing a herniated disc as soon as possible. Doctors have ascertained that any subsequent delay to surgery can only complicate the procedure, delay the recovery, and even lower the chance of complete recovery.
For this, patients and doctors alike should evaluate which procedure will deliver the most benefit. A classic option is the open back surgery but the risks can be higher as a greater number of steps are needed and a large incision is used to repair the herniated disc. This can cause damage to other anatomical structures in the back, most notably nerves and arteries. In recent years, the trend open back surgery has shifted in favor of laparoscopic back surgery which only requires minimal incisions to remove or repair the herniated disc. This greatly reduces the complications and healing time.
Healing a herniated disc is not impossible if the right steps are not followed in evaluating, deciding and executing the things needed to facilitate full recovery. The important thing is to not delay talking to a doctor once one experiences recurring extreme back pain. The sooner a condition is diagnosed, the better the patient’s chance of having the proper steps defined to relieve the source of pain and facilitate full recovery.
The good news is in the vast majority of cases, healing a herniated disc can be done by the less invasive options available and surgery does not have to be done. However, one must listen closely to the doctor’s advice and follow it.