Treating a Herniated Disc
Exercise. The power of exercise lies in strengthening the back and core muscles that make up the area around the spinal column. Herniated discs, especially in the case of older individuals, are typically induced by a weakening of the back muscles. When the spinal column lacks support, repetitive loading can damage a disc and cause the gel inside to leak out and touch a nerve. The absence of sufficient muscle strength to keep the disc from protruding could easily be the reason a herniated disc occurs. Exercise can be used for treating a herniated disc by strengthening the affected area, creating a natural resistance to the outward movement of the disc. Of course check with you doctor before doing any exercises if you are having back pain.
Chiropractor. These are professional therapists that are experts at helping restore the normal function of most injured body parts. In the case of a herniated disc, chiropractors can prescribe stretching exercises which can be used to loosen the tight muscles and ease the pain. Likewise, these exercises are used for strengthening the muscles in the local area helping to naturally heal the condition. Chiropractors may also use heat treatments, massage and other techniques.
Surgery. Surgery is the last resort for treating a herniated disc. There are procedures which require removal of the herniated disc while others are done to restore the original alignment. In advanced conditions, surgery becomes the only viable option. It carries inherent risks but these can be managed by selecting a competent surgeon and diagnosing the condition as early as possible.
Treating a herniated disc is a complex interplay of many, if not all, of these methods and others as well. The important thing is for the patient to recognize the need to take a break to embrace all these prescribed solutions to remedy a herniated disc. With that, a concerted effort towards recovery can begin, thus reducing the chances of herniated disc back surgery.
Other more serious causes of back pain include back fractures, herniated discs, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, spinal stenosis and other degenerative diseases. Treating back pain in these cases becomes a bit more complicated and in some cases may involve back surgery. A fracture may be caused by an accident like a fall which causes a break or crack in one of the bones in the back.
Osteoarthritis is one of the degenerative joint diseases and commonly affects older people. The cartilage that acts as a cushion between bones is worn down over time causing friction to occur between the bones when they rub against each other which in the long run causes severe back pain. With the progression of osteoarthritis, spinal stenosis may occur because of the resulting formation of bony spurs and thickened ligaments. In treating back pain caused by osteoarthritis and spinal stenosis, surgery is usually carried out. Osteoporosis causes loss of bone density which in turn causes susceptibility to broken bones and fractures quite commonly they are bones in the back. This condition affects mostly women. Another cause to consider when treating back pain is cancer or other diseases, even though this is in rare cases.
Treating back pain will also depend on the duration of the pain. If the pain has occurred during a period of less than a month, it is considered acute back pain. It is called sub-acute back pain if it has lasted between one month and three months. Anything above three months is considered chronic back pain.
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