How much do you know about treating herniated discs? If you’re suffering from symptoms like back pain, sciatica, or weakness in your lower extremities, you may find yourself quickly becoming an expert on all things herniated disc related. You may be concerned that you’ll have to submit to a surgical procedure to find relief, but in truth, there are many options for treating herniated discs without surgery.
- You may be able to find relief at home. Often, alternating cold and heat can alleviate pain and inflammation. Take it easy, and avoid painful positions, but avoid bed rest, which can weaken your muscles and lead to stiff joints. It’s good to rest for about thirty minutes, then get up and move around. A short walk can help, but avoid anything that worsens the pain.
- Your doctor may recommend over the counter medications. For mild to moderate herniated disc pain, ibuprofen, naproxen, and other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs can be effective.
- If over the counter pain killers don’t work, you may be prescribed something stronger. Narcotics, nerve pain medication, and muscle relaxers are all tools a doctor can use for treating herniated discs without surgery.
- Injections are sometimes helpful. Epidural injections of cortisone can suppress swelling and inflammation.
- Physical therapy and chiropractic care can bring relief from herniated discs. Some patients find relief through chiropractic manipulation, especially when used in conjunction with physical therapy. Your physical therapist can help you find the right positions and exercises to minimize your pain, and may often use techniques like short term bracing, traction, or electrical stimulation.
At our clinic, we embrace an integrated approach to healthcare, thinking of our patients as whole people, rather than just a collection of symptoms. When treating herniated discs, our physical medicine experts work to find the best solution for each individual patient, to help them live their healthiest lives. To learn how we can help you find your path to optimal wellness, visit our website or call today for a free consultation.