The primary goal of any treatment is to relieve pain and address other symptoms arising from problems such as a herniated disc. You need a specific treatment plan that addresses the source of your pain, the symptoms, and the pain severity you exhibit. Herniated disc in Houston specialists advise that patients should start with non-surgical options first before considering spinal surgery. However, consult a spine specialist to know which intervention is appropriate. Surgical intervention can help prevent nerve loss and damage, which can be permanent by stopping the neurological progression and creating an optimal healing environment.
There are rare conditions which need immediate surgical intervention, like if you have cauda equina syndrome that comes with progressive weakness in your legs or having sudden bladder or bowel dysfunction. In this case, you require urgent surgery and medical care.
Surgical and Conservative Treatments
A conservative approach is mostly applied for cervical and lumbar herniated discs. This is done for six weeks to reduce your discomfort and pain. The process is purely trial and errors and helps to reduce your pain if the right treatment combination is used. The specialist will try one treatment at a time or simply use a combination of treatments simultaneously.
You can get pain relief medications to help you cope with the treatment process which can include physical therapy or manipulations. It helps with recovery, and you learn more about body mechanics to prevent excessive wear and tear in future which leads to herniated discs.
Surgery is considered if you experience high loss of function and severe pain, also if conservative treatments are not giving you pain relief.
Tips on Relieving Herniated Disc Pain
Use Cold and Heat Therapy
This method relieves muscle pain and tension. Applying it on your lower back alleviates muscle pain and is mostly preferred for a lumbar herniated disc. The heat loosens your muscle tightness which causes spasms and improves elasticity while increasing blood flow of the connective tissues. The cold has an anti-inflammatory effect by decreasing the local tissue temperature, thus reducing your pain.
Engage in Moderate Physical Activity
Moderate physical activity helps release endorphins which improves your mood and reduces your pain perception. You can tolerate low-impact activities like walking outside or using a treadmill, cycling, oe using an elliptical trainer. Hydrotherapy is effective for more severe pain as the water buoyancy counteracts gravity, thereby decreasing the load-bearing on your spinal discs.
Sleeping in a Comfortable Position
Sleep in a position that relieves your herniated disc pain. The pain is usually worse at night, and it’s more comfortable when you sleep in a position that relieves your spine pressure like using a pillow on your knees to relieve lower back tension or lying on your side and placing the pillow between your knees as a way of keeping your spine straight and the hips balanced.
This method shifts your sciatica pain and centralizes it on your lower back. Your symptoms will help you know the right exercises, or you can ask your physical therapist. After the pain has subsided, you still need to continue with the stretching and back strengthening program to reduce the risk of having a recurrence of a lumbar herniated disc.
Understanding herniated discs helps you know the right treatment options that work for your best. You can opt for conservative treatment or a surgical option, depending on the advice you get from the spine specialist. Use the pain relief tips to help manage your pain.