A herniated disc can be an extremely painful condition generally caused by injury to the spinal disc or natural degeneration as you age. Common types of injuries that can lead to herniated discs include anything that includes a direct impact on the spinal discs that separate your vertebrae, including car accidents, contact sport injuries, and even slips and falls. The role of the spinal discs is to create a cushion in between vertebrae to effectively separate the two bones from rubbing against one another. When one of these discs is damaged due to a strong force of impact, the disc can slip or rupture, which is called a herniated disc.
There are several ways to treat a herniated disc and many treatment modalities rely on the severity of the injury, from physical therapy to chiropractic care to minimally invasive spine surgery. Each experience of disc herniation is unique and can be referred to in a number of ways, including a bulging disc, slipped disc, or ruptured disc. The following are five ways to deal with a herniated disc:
While it is important to seek medical care following a disc herniation, there are ways to compliment your treatment at home if the injury is mild. Generally, with a mild case of slipped disc, inflammation occurs around the infected area. Alternating ice and heat therapies soon after the injury can help bring down the inflammation and provide relief. A doctor can also recommend certain sleeping, sitting, and standing positions to avoid in order to refrain from putting undue pressure on the affected area. Focusing on maintaining a healthy posture can also increase healing, and help you potentially avoid spine surgery in the future.
A physical therapist can help provide treatment for disc herniation through exercises, massages, and gentle stretches to help gently relieve pressure on the affected area and encourage healthy blood flow and nerve communication to the injury site. In some cases, a herniated disc may be pressing on a nerve, which is sending pain signals to other parts of the body. Physical therapy can help identify ways to reduce the pressure on the nerve and spine while also encouraging the muscles in the back and neck to strengthen and better maintain and sustain appropriate pressure.
Chiropractors specialize in the spine and the nervous system housed within the spinal column to promote healthy communication from the brain to the rest of the body by removing any spinal misalignments that may interfere. A herniated disc is a strong indicator that something is out of place and interfering with the body’s ability to communicate and even heal itself. Chiropractic care involves gentle, safe adjustments to the spine in order to reduce pressure on the affected disc and properly realign the vertebrae. Regular chiropractic care can help heal your spine and body from the inside out and can help you avoid undergoing minimally invasive spine surgery.
Interventional Spine Treatment
Neurologists use minimally invasive spine surgery methods to treat injuries such as disc herniation through innovative techniques that can be done in an outpatient setting. The main goals of using interventional spine treatment are to provide pain relief, healing, and also avoid spinal surgery. In more moderate to severe cases of disc herniation, a combination of treatments may be necessary in order to relieve pain and move toward healing. One example of interventional spine treatment is epidural steroid injections, which are injections that can help to not only reduce pain in the spine but also in the arms and legs when nerves have been damaged by the herniated disc.
Spinal surgery is a major undertaking and medical professionals generally recommend more conservative approaches like those listed above before resorting to surgical solutions. However, in the small number of cases where more conservative multimodal treatments are not enough, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Generally, a combination of therapeutic interventions can provide the maximum pain relief and healing for someone who has experienced a herniated disc. Consider a medical practice where you can get a variety of care from orthopedic doctors, neurologists, physical therapists, and chiropractors, so you can experience comprehensive and holistic healing.
You can trust the multi-disciplinary team of doctors at AICA Orthopedics can provide you with an accurate diagnosis utilizing state-of-the-art diagnostic imaging tools and their extensive knowledge base, as well as an individualized treatment plan that is unique to you. Neuro spine specialists and orthopedic doctors offer the latest in advanced treatment modalities and technologies in order to provide you with the quality care you deserve. No matter what part of Atlanta you are in, you can be sure to find one of our twelve locations nearby and begin experiencing true relief and healing by scheduling with us today!