Herniated Disc Relief

Back Surgery Information

Herniated disc relief. This is what anyone with a herniated disc is searching for. Back pain that extends down your leg and causes near intolerable pain is most often due to a herniated disc or, as sometimes referred to, a slipped or ruptured disc. A herniated disc occurs when a nerve in the spinal canal is irritated due to a damaged disc that bulges or breaks open. These discs are typically damaged for two reasons. The first reason being wear and tear from the aging process. It seems that as we age these disc lose moisture and the dryness causes them to lose flexibility and because of this they are more easily broken. The second reason for damaged discs results from an injury to the spine, causing small cracks in the outer layer which, in turn, causes bulges or breaks.

When a disc is healthy, it provides a cushion between each vertebrae and that cushioning absorbs the shock that occurs from everyday activity. When this cushioning is compromised, there is pain. The pain or numbness experienced from a herniated or slipped disc is typically felt in the lower back, leg, or arm.

Herniated disc relief is crucial and primary, for the pain is somewhat disabling. Fortunately, however, surgery is usually not required and certainly not desired. Patients with a herniated disc are typically directed towards conservative methods, or non-surgical care, before surgery is even discussed. While surgery is rarely needed, relief from a herniated disc is vehemently sought after; the pain is nearly intolerable.

There are many methods of conservative care for herniated disc relief. A combination of one or more of these non invasive methods should be tried for an extended period of time before the patient considers surgery, a very invasive procedure that is not without risks.

For example, physical therapy can be successful in relieving the pressure that is on the nerve, along with conservative exercise and stretching. A patient can also find some relief by applying ice and heat, something that can be done at home. Some patients have experienced considerable relief of herniated discs from chiropractic manipulation.

Each of the above mentioned can be coupled with medications, both prescription and non prescription. The most cautious medication to begin with would be the NSAIDS or the non-steroid anti–inflammatory drugs, like naproxen and ibuprofen. These well known NSAIDS are very effective in temporarily relieving pain. Oral steroids are available also. This type of treatment is reserved for the most severe pain and should only be used for a short period of time, approximately one to two weeks.

Beyond the strength and effectiveness of the oral steroids, are narcotic pain relievers. These, however, should be avoided if at all possible, for they can be addicting. Finally, epidural steroid injections can be used to provide herniated disc relief. This process has a more potent and longer lasting anti-inflammatory result than the oral administration of steroids, although it is a bit riskier. However, even with its effectiveness and risk, it does not take away the possibility for surgery.

Herniated disc relief is critical to the patient, for it is not only physically immobilizing, but the constant pain can be very nerve racking. The solution, however, is not generic. Do the research, talk to your doctor, and experiment with conservative care. Only after all else has failed should you consider surgery.

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