4 Best Ways to Alleviate Herniated Disc Pain
If you find yourself experiencing achy but sometimes sharp pain coming from your lower back, buttocks, or legs; you could be dealing with a herniated or bulging disc in your back. These discs are between each vertebrae and they’re an essential part of the spine.
Learning how to alleviate herniated disc pain is not easy and this issue is fairly common in people between 30 and 50 years of age. It occurs when the disc pushes outward which begins to irritate the surrounding nerves. It can occur on either side of the spine causing pain and numbness in that area.
Most people manage herniated disc pain with physical therapy and over the counter medications but there are plenty of different treatments you can do at home. Here are some of the ways you can treat herniated disc pain.
1. Applying Heat
Using a heating pad or compress before activity or exercise will help relax muscle tension and increase blood flow to the affected area. If you work in a job that requires you to frequently bend or twist, this could worsen the herniated disc so applying heat throughout the day may help.
Cold is important as well. Following exercise or strenuous activity you may want to apply a cold compress for pain relief. The heat decreases the tension and soothes the pain while the cold will have an anti-inflammatory effect.
2. Low Impact Physical Activity
Undergoing limited physical activity functions the same way that a physical therapist does. Their job is to gradually push the muscles and joints in a direction they don’t want to go. The result is a loosening of the tension and ultimately a reduction in pain. Certain stretches and exercises can help null herniated disc pain and you can do these exercises at home. They’ll help you increase mobility, get stronger, and reduce the amount of pressure on the disc.
3. Changing Your Sleeping Habits
Many people experience lumbar pain from a herniated disc and poor sleeping habits can put additional pressure on the spine. Putting a pillow under your knees can relieve lower back pain and lying on your side with a pillow between your knees is a great technique for keeping your spine straight and reducing the likelihood of making the disc pain any worse.
4. Minimally Invasive Surgery
While herniated disc treatment varies from person to person, if you’re experiencing a high-level of pain to a point where it’s become unmanageable, minimally invasive procedures could be the right option. A laminectomy, discectomy, and spinal fusion procedures are all known to help with herniated disc pain.
For a laminectomy, we enlarge the space in your spinal canal to reduce nerve pressure. During the procedure, we remove any material that is putting pressure on the nerves. This results in herniated disc relief and ideally less pain in the future.
If you or someone you know wants to alleviate herniated disc pain, click here to learn more about herniated discs and your options.