Dealing With Your Herniated Disc: What You Can Do
Your spinal cord is what allows you to stand straight and tall. While it can be durable, age and other factors can make it vulnerable. If your spine is slightly injured or weakened enough, the inner portion of your spinal discs can slip out. This is usually when lifting something heavy or when you are bending down. This gelatinous part is full of nerves and can be very sensitive. The usual result is pain and discomfort for you. You will need to what to do when it happens to you.
Take It Slow
First of all, you need to ease up on the various activities you are doing. Doing more of them, despite the pain, can make it worse. The great thing about slipped discs is that they usually heal on their own. Nine out of ten people who experience pains associated with slipped discs report their recovery within a few days to several weeks. The important thing is to eliminate strenuous work. Depending on where the slipped disc is, you might even be encouraged to walk around to help ease the strain. Slipped discs in the upper back or neck will mostly be treated with a few painkillers. Slipped discs in the lower back are worse since they can cause pain in the legs and hips.
Go To The Doctor For Diagnosis
You should know the time for going to the doctor for your back pain. The main reason why you should go to the doctor is that it has persisted for more than a month. This means that the herniated disc is not healing on its own. The doctor will be doing X-rays and even an MRI to determine how bad the condition is. An immediate visit to your doctor is necessary if you feel that your lower body is growing numb along with the pain. This can mean that the slipped disc is pinching nerves hard enough to disrupt the signals to your brain. If this happens, you want to resolve it as quickly as possible.
Know The Non-surgical Options
When your doctor diagnoses your slipped disc, they will be giving you several options. Their usual choice is to recommend more rest and to prescribe you painkillers. They also recommend anti-inflammatory medicine so that the swelling in your disc, which can be the cause of why it is not returning to normal, can ease. There is also the potential for epidural injections into the area so that the pain would be better handled. Physical therapy is also recommended. A popular choice is to go to chiropractic services so that they can manipulate the disc back into its original position. The theory behind it is similar to how dislocated limbs can be pushed back into their sockets. However, you’ll want a qualified professional to do this since there is a higher chance of injury.
Be Ready For Surgery
If nothing works or it is getting worse, then your doctor will usually recommend surgery. Note that this is the most desperate option. This is usually when the slipped disc is making you lose control of your lower body, or the pain is getting worse. There are several options. One is a diskectomy. This involves the removal of the slipped part of the disc. This is the least invasive since it only requires a small incision in your back or neck. A more invasive process is lumbar laminotomy. This involves the removal of actual bone, so there is less pressure on the slipped disc. Finally, a spinal fusion may be necessary to stabilize your spine. This stops bone movement and prevents pressure on the disc. It can also be very uncomfortable for you, so it is the least recommended.
A slipped disc is no joking matter. The pain can be crippling, not to mention how it makes it difficult to move. Additionally, the chances of a slipped disc increase as you grow older. Being aware of how you can handle it should be essential.