A herniated disc occurs when the outer portion of an intervertebral disc ruptures and its inner nucleus pulposus extrudes. It may cause significant pain, numbness, or tingling in the affected area. While many people believe that bed rest is the best way to heal a herniated disc, recent studies suggest that this may not be the case. In fact, staying active and continuing with normal activities may be the fastest way to recover from a herniated disc.
If you are one of the unlucky people who suffer from a herniated disc, you are likely always looking for ways to speed up your healing process. While there is no one definitive answer to this question, there are certain things you can do to help improve your odds of a speedy recovery. Keep reading to learn more about what these steps are.
1. Get moving:
As counterintuitive as it may sound, staying active is actually one of the best things you can do for a herniated disc. When you are inactive, your muscles begin to weaken and your range of motion decreases. This can lead to further problems and make it more difficult to recover from a herniated disc. Instead, try to stay as active as possible. Take walks, go for light jogs, or even just do some simple stretching exercises.
2. Avoiding bed rest:
While it may be tempting to stay in bed and rest when you have a herniated disc, this is actually one of the worst things you can do. When you are lying down, your discs are not able to receive the necessary blood flow and nutrients they need to heal. This can actually delay your healing process.
3. Applying ice:
Ice can help reduce inflammation and pain in the affected area. Apply an ice pack to the area for 20 minutes at a time, several times per day.
4. Taking anti-inflammatory medications:
Anti-inflammatory medications can help to reduce the pain and inflammation associated with a herniated disc. These medications can be taken orally or applied topically to the affected area. Examples of anti-inflammatory medications include ibuprofen, naproxen, and steroids.
5. Wearing a brace:
Wearing a brace is often recommended for people suffering from a herniated disc. A brace can help support your back and take some of the pressure off of your discs. This can help alleviate pain and make it easier to move around. In some cases, a brace may also be used to provide traction for your spine. This can help to decompress the discs and provide relief from pain.
6. Getting physical therapy:
Physical therapy can help stretch and strengthen the muscles around your spine. This can help take pressure off of your discs and speed up your healing process. Physical therapy may also include exercises that improve your flexibility and range of motion. This can help you avoid future injuries and keep your spine healthy.
Water-based exercises can help heal your herniated disc. Water provides resistance without putting pressure on the spine, which can help to strengthen the muscles around the discs and improve blood flow to the area.
Read also – How Long for Herniated Disc to Heal Without Surgery.
Here are a few water exercises to try :
- Aquatic therapy: Aquatic therapy is a type of physical therapy that is conducted in water. This can help to stretch and strengthen the muscles around the spine, while also providing resistance to help improve blood flow to the area.
- Water walking: Water walking is a great way to get some low-impact exercise. It helps to increase blood flow and can also help to stretch the muscles around the spine.
- Swimming: Swimming is another great option for low-impact exercise. It helps to increase blood flow and can also help to stretch the muscles around the spine.
- Water aerobics: Water aerobics is a great way to get some cardio exercise while also promoting blood flow to the spine.
- Hydrotherapy: Hydrotherapy is a type of therapy that uses water to help relieve pain and promote healing. It can be helpful for a variety of conditions, including herniated discs.
7. Undergoing surgery:
In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair a herniated disc. However, this is typically only recommended if other conservative treatments have failed to provide relief.
Surgery for a herniated disc typically involves removing the damaged portion of the disc. In some cases, the entire disc may need to be removed. This is typically only done if the herniated disc is causing severe pain or nerve damage. Surgery for a herniated disc is usually considered a last resort option.
Read also – What Are The Stages Of Herniated Disc?
There are several different types of surgery that can be performed to repair a herniated disc. These include:
- Discectomy: This is a procedure that involves removing the herniated portion of the disc.
- Laminectomy: This surgery involves removing a portion of the vertebrae in order to take pressure off of the discs.
- Spinal fusion: This is a procedure that involves fusing together two or more vertebrae.
- Artificial disc replacement: This is a procedure that involves replacing the damaged disc with an artificial one.
Which surgery is best for you will depend on a variety of factors, including the severity of your herniated disc and your overall health. Your surgeon will be able to discuss all of your surgical options with you and help you decide which one is best for you.
Will herniated disc go away on its own?
Unfortunately, there is no guarantee that a herniated disc will go away on its own. However, if you take steps to improve your overall spine health and follow the treatment plan recommended by your doctor, you may be able to find relief. If you are dealing with a herniated disc, it is important to understand that you are not alone.
This is a common condition that affects many people. However, there are treatments available that can help you find relief and speed up your healing process. Try to stay as active as possible, avoid bed rest, apply ice to the affected area, and take anti-inflammatory medications. You may also benefit from wearing a brace, getting physical therapy, or undergoing surgery. Talk to your doctor about which treatment option is best for you.
Dr. Eshan Nerkar
Neurologist And NeurosuegeonDr. Eshan Nerkar, Consultant Brain & Spine Surgeon in Nashik specializes in Spine Surgery. He practices at AXON Brain & Spine Clinic. He is one of the best neurosurgeons in Nashik with more than 10 years of experience. He has performed more than 1000 surgeries related to brain and spinal surgery procedures.