What Are The Best Treatment Options For A Herniated Disc?

In your younger years, you may have had no problem sleeping in uncomfortable positions (or even on the floor), lifting heavy items, or performing risky sports maneuvers. But as you age, these strenuous situations can increase your risk of developing a herniated disc. Read on to learn more about how a herniated disc can affect your overall health and a few of the treatment options available to you.

What Happens When a Disc Herniates?

Your spinal vertebrae are cushioned by multiple discs, which help protect your spinal cord and prevent the bone-on-bone contact that can generate osteoarthritis and bone spurs. Sometimes, trauma to one or more of these discs can rupture them, allowing their contents to poke out of their protective barrier. If a herniated disc touches your spinal cord, it can cause serious and chronic pain, and, if left untreated, may eventually develop into spinal stenosis or another form of arthritis.

What Are Your Conservative Treatment Options?

Only in the most emergent cases are herniated discs immediately treated with surgery. In the vast majority of cases, a herniated disc can be repaired or managed through less invasive methods, including physical therapy, chiropractic manipulation, and the use of anti-inflammatory painkillers.

Physical therapy can not only help strengthen the muscles around your spine, which hold your discs in place, it can also help you learn more appropriate lifting and moving maneuvers. Often, herniated discs occur when the spine moves in a manner it's not designed to do. By learning the proper way to perform common activities, you'll lower the risk of further damage while building your core strength. Taking anti-inflammatory medication on a regular basis can reduce swelling and minimize pain, which may have you feeling back to normal before you know it.

When May You Need Surgery For a Herniated Disc?

While starting conservative treatment first is usually the best option, there are some situations in which early surgery can prevent ongoing problems. If you've begun to notice weakness or a sharp, shooting, excruciating pain in your arms or legs, this can be a sign that the herniated disc is pressing on your spinal cord, risking paralysis or permanent nerve damage. Surgery to remove the portion of the disc that has herniated (or at least to move it away from your spinal cord) can prevent further complications.

In other cases, your herniated disc may be pressing on the nerves that control your bowels or bladder, leading to chronic constipation or incontinence. This usually also requires surgery to prevent kidney, urinary tract, or bowel problems. For more information, contact a company like Southwest Florida Neurosurgical & Rehab Associates.

About Me

Preparing for a Stem Cell Transplant

About six months ago, my wonderful father discovered he had an aggressive form of lymphoma. At this time, his doctor informed him he would need to undergo six rounds of chemotherapy. My dad’s physician also told him he would need to have a stem cell transplant immediately after he completed the chemotherapy. To prepare for the stem cell transplant, my father was put on a special diet. His doctor recommended he eat a lot of protein. My dad was also told to drink plenty of water and exercise regularly. On this blog, I hope you will learn smart tips to help you or one of your loved ones prepare for a stem cell transplant. Enjoy!


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