Medication For The Pain
There are a number of different medications for the relief of sciatic nerve pain caused by a slipped disc. Most of these are painkillers, but you can also use muscle relaxants and . The following medications are the most commonly used. They are all available without a prescription when taken at a low dose:
Some of the medication options have to be prescribed by a doctor. These include:
Anticonvulsants and antidepressants are typically not used unless the symptoms last for a longer period of time or the painkillers don’t provide enough relief.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Herniated Disc
Herniated disc symptoms include:
Where your symptoms occur depends on where the herniation is on your spine. For example, if your slipped disc is in your upper back or neck, you may have symptoms in your arms or neck. If it is in your lower back, you may have symptoms in your hips or legs.
Typically, herniated disc symptoms get worse with activity and improve with rest.
How Is The First Attack Treated
The major symptoms arising from the first attack generally settle down over the first 6 weeks and half of the remainder will generally settle down over the following 6 weeks. Treatment during this period is focused upon reducing the irritation. This may include: anti-inflammatory drugs and Muscle Balance Physiotherapy to correct the posture and maintain mobility.
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A Pharmacist Can Help With A Slipped Disc
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like ibuprofen are not suitable for everyone. Speak to a pharmacist if you’re not sure.
Stronger painkillers containing codeine may help for pain that’s just started.
But these types of painkillers can cause addiction and should only be used for a few days.
- lose feeling in 1 or both legs
- cannot control when you pee or poo
- got it after a serious accident, such as a car accident
How Are Slipped Discs Diagnosed
Your doctor will first perform a physical exam. They will be looking for the source of your pain and discomfort. This will involve checking your nerve function and muscle strength, and whether you feel pain when moving or touching the affected area. Your doctor also will ask you about your medical history and your symptoms. They will be interested in when you first felt symptoms and what activities cause your pain to worsen.
Imaging tests can help your doctor view the bones and muscles of your spine and identify any damaged areas. Examples of imaging scans include:
- MRI scans
Your doctor can combine all these pieces of information to determine what is causing your pain, weakness, or discomfort.
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Can A Herniated Disc Be Prevented
After you have hurt your back, you are more likely to have back problems in the future. To help keep your back healthy:
- Protect your back when you lift. For example, lift with your legs, not your back. Don’t bend forward at the waist when you lift. Bend your knees, and squat.
- Use good posture. When you stand or walk, keep your shoulders back and down, your chin back, and your belly in. This will help support your lower back.
- Get regular exercise.
- Stay at a healthy weight. This may reduce the load on your lower back.
- Don’t smoke. Smoking increases the risk of a disc injury.
Radiating Pain Into Your Leg
The discs in your lower back typically herniate or bulge in the posterior and/or lateral region, which is in close proximity to your spinal nerve roots. Herniated discs may affect these nerve roots through one or both of the following 2 methods2–4:
See What You Need to Know About Sciatica
- Direct compression. When the discs bulge or leaking inner contents directly press on a spinal nerve root as it exits the spinal canal.
- Chemical irritation. When a herniated disc leaks out acidic chemical irritants from the disc material, which may cause inflammation and irritation in the area around the nerve root.
The function of the affected nerve root is then altered, and you may feel a burning pain along with numbness, weakness, and/or tingling along the front and/or back of your thigh, leg, and/or foot. These symptoms are commonly referred to as sciatica. The symptoms and signs of sciatica typically affect one leg at a time.
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What Treatments Are Available
Conservative nonsurgical treatment is the first step to recovery and may include medication, rest, physical therapy, home exercises, hydrotherapy, epidural steroid injections , chiropractic manipulation, and pain management. With a team approach to treatment, 80% of people with back pain improve in about 6 weeks and return to normal activity. If you donât respond to conservative treatment, your doctor may recommend surgery.
Diagnosis Of Disc Problems
- taking a medical history to:
- determine predisposing risk factors and conditions
- identify any associated spinal nerve involvement
Investigations are carried out if:
- symptoms persist for more than six weeks despite remaining active, or
- there is concern the disc is affecting a spinal nerve.
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III. Hows A Herniated Disc Treated?
Your doctor will likely tell you get some rest and avoid any painful positions or movements. You may also take some painkillers to relieve symptoms. In general, a herniated disc will go away on its own. If your symptoms arent relieved within a week, you may also start physical therapy, or in extreme cases, surgery.
Luckily, there are plenty of home remedies that help soothe your symptoms and get your disc healthy again.
IV. What Are Home Remedies For A Herniated Disc?
If youre looking to get relief from a herniated disc at home, try these self-care remedies that are scientifically proven.
1. Ice And Heat Therapy
For pain relief, using a cold and hot pack may help alleviate your pain and keep inflammation down. According to Mayo Clinic, start with a cold press and change to hot within a few days.
2. Stretching Exercises
Dont just sit in bed all day. Try gentle movements during the day to use your muscles and keep them moving. Specifically, it may be a good idea to stretch your hamstring muscles to relieve herniated disc pain.
According to recent studies, yoga can have a positive impact on those suffering from lower pain from a herniated disc. Not only does yoga soothe pain, it also uses a mind-body approach to reduce stress, which is a factor in muscle tension.
V. How Can I Prevent Another Herniated Disc?
Can This Injury Or Condition Be Prevented
To prevent experiencing a herniated disc, individuals should:
- Use proper body mechanics when lifting, pushing, pulling, or performing any action that puts extra stress on your spine.
- Maintain a healthy weight. This will reduce the stress on your spine.
- Stop smoking.
- Discuss your occupation with a physical therapist, who can provide an analysis of your job tasks and offer suggestions for reducing your risk of injury.
- Keep your muscles strong and flexible. Participate in a consistent program of physical activity to maintain a healthy fitness level.
Many physical therapy clinics offer “back schools,” which teach people how to take care of their backs and necks and prevent injury. Ask your physical therapist about programs in your area. If you don’t have a physical therapist, click on Find a PT to find a certified professional in your immediate area.
To prevent recurrence of a herniated disc, follow the above advice, and:
- Continue the new posture and movement habits that you learned from your physical therapist, to keep your back healthy.
- Continue to do the home-exercise program your physical therapist taught you, to help maintain your improvements.
- Continue to be physically active and stay fit.
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How To Tell If Your Lower Back Pain Is Muscle
by Dr. Don DuffAug 20, 2019
The low back is a fairly complicated structure, so its no wonder the majority of peopleexperts estimate up to 80% of usexperience pain in this area of our bodies at some point in our lives. In fact, back pain is one of the most common reasons for visits to the doctors office.
The key to relieving back pain is understanding the cause. But diagnosing the of a patients pain isnt always a straightforward exercise. It could be muscle, joint, or disc-related in some cases, it may even arise from issues unrelated to the back. So how can you tell if your back pain is muscle- or disc-related, or attributable to something else entirely? Well cover all the possibilities in this post.
What Causes A Slipped/herniated Disc
- Example: Picking up a HEAVY box from the floor while moving houses
- ONE bad movement can lead to a slipped disc
- Example: A job that requires a lot of repetitive work involving your back
- Working in a factory or manufacturing plant
- A mother who is constantly picking up toys and clothes off the ground around the house
- Light objects lifted repeatedly will eventually cause the disc to fail because it cannot tolerate anymore stress.
- Example: Gardening and planting flowers while bent over for a LONG time
- The long duration of stress on your spine can also cause a herniated disc
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Will A Herniated Disk Get Worse
An untreated herniated disk can get worse. Thats especially true if you continue the activities that caused it for instance, if it developed because of your work. A worsening ruptured disk may cause chronic pain and loss of control or sensation in the affected area. See your healthcare provider if you still have symptoms after four to six weeks of conservative care.
How Is A Slipped Disc Diagnosed
One of the complications in diagnosing a slipped disc is that whilst the apparent pain or problem may manifest itself in one part of the body, the actual cause of the problem can lie in a different part of the spinal region. For this reason, medical professionals pay close attention to the symptoms as a first step in evaluating what the problem may be, before moving on to more focused diagnostic procedures.
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Symptoms Of Herniated Lumbar Disc:
Lower back pain Leg pain Leg numbness or tingling Pain is worse from sitting Restricted trunk flexionSciatica pain
Please note, a herniated disc DOESNT always cause pain, so you must get a proper diagnosis.
Lower back pain is typically the first symptom of a lumbar disc herniation. Often this pain will last for a few days and then subside, but leg pain, numbness or tingling, and/or weakness of the lower extremity often follows.
Typically the leg pain eventually travels below the knee and can even affect the ankle and foot.
How long does the pain last?
Most patients with a lumbar disc herniation will improve gradually over a period of days to weeks, with most patients being symptom free within 3 to 4 months.
Patients that actively participate in an exercise program often report a significant reduction of pain and improved ability to perform their activities of daily living.
When To Speak With A Doctor
Practicing good posture, exercising regularly, and healthful eating can often improve back pain without speaking with a doctor.
A person should consult with a healthcare professional if they have back pain that worsens over time or accompanies other symptoms, such as bowel or bladder control issues.
People experiencing severe back pain following trauma or physical exertion may also need to speak with a doctor.
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Exercise #: Plank To Strengthen Core/abs
A strong core will protect the spine and improve ones posture. Therefore this exercise is great at targeting those deep core muscles.
Begin lying on your stomach with your forearms against the mat.Engage your core, tuck your tailbone in and lift your body so that you are resting on your forearms and toes.Start with 10 seconds holds, and work up to 30 Seconds, 2-3 Sets.Aim for 2 to 5 repetitions of this exercise.When youre ready, increase the intensity by increasing the time you hold the plank in 10 second increments.** Ensure to keep your back straight throughout the entire exercise.
Other forms of exercise that may help, that were not mentioned above include core strength, walking, pilates, and yoga.
Seeing a primary musculoskeletal care provider is the best approach if your symptoms are not resolving. This includes DO/MD/DC/DPT.
Dr. Smith earned his Doctorate In Physical Therapy from the University of Miamis Miller School of Medicine and currently practices as a home care therapist in the Tampa Bay area. He uses his eclectic background of working with everyone from those in the ICU to elite athletes to customize care for each one of his patients and progress them toward their personal goals.
Prior to being a Physical Therapist, he earned a masters degree in public health and managed big pharma clinical trials worldwide. He enjoys CrossFit, Animals, and helping people live a pain free and active lifestyle
How To Help Your Body Heal A Bulging Disc On Its Own
I dont want to get into the many, many reasons why long-term OTC and prescription drugs can be dangerous to your health.
increase the space between the vertebrae
This also helps to rehydrate the disc, which promotes the natural healing of the area.
This space increasing will also relieve your lower back pain. The pain is caused by this pressure on the nerves causing low back inflammation.
If you relieve the pressure, the pain is relieved. As simple as that.
This process is called spinal decompression .
It relieves the pain and allows your body to heal itself naturally Faster.
No medication, no surgery. And you can do spinal decompression at home by yourself, whenever you need it.
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Slipped Disc Symptoms Causes And Treatment
Back pain is a very common problem. Unlike other injuries, the basis of back pain could be anything. One minute youre watching TV on your couch and then try to get up but you cannot because there is a sharp pain in your back. The cause for this pain can be a slipped disc.
A slipped disc also known as prolapsed disc or disc herniation can cause many problems in everyday routine.
How Can A Physical Therapist Help
In all but the most extreme cases, conservative care often produces better results in treating a herniated disk than surgery or pain medications, such as opioids.
Your physical therapist will work with you to design a specific treatment program that will speed your recovery, including exercises and treatments that you can do at home. Physical therapy will help you return to your normal lifestyle and activities. The time it takes to heal the condition varies, but results can be achieved in 2 to 8 weeks or less, when a proper posture, pain-reduction, stretching, and strengthening program is implemented.
During the first 24 to 48 hours following your diagnosis of a herniated disk, your physical therapist may advise you to:
- Rest the area by avoiding any activity that causes worsening symptoms in the arms or legs.
- Avoid bed rest.
- Stay active around the house, and go on short walks several times per day. Movement will decrease pain and stiffness, and help you feel better.
- Apply ice packs to the affected area for 15 to 20 minutes every 2 hours.
- Sit in firm chairs. Soft couches and easy chairs may make your problems worse.
- Consult with a physician for further services, such as medications or diagnostic tests.
Some exercises are better for individuals with herniated disks. Your physical therapist will educate you about them. For example:
Your physical therapist will work with you to:
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Can Sneezing Cause A Herniated Disc
For many people with back pain caused by a back pain condition , the problem starts off small and then gradually builds until you start to feel symptoms, such as back pain. See Figure 2, which shows the various stages of disc degeneration.
Figure 2. A normal intervertebral disc is compared to degeneration and 3 typical stages to a disc herniation. Photo Source: 123RF.com.
For example, let’s say you sneeze and feel a sudden, sharp pain in your back. Then that pain progresses into leg pain or . You may have had an underlying herniated disc, and the sneeze was what triggered it to progress. So, yes: a sneeze can herniate an intervertebral disc.
Exercises To Help A Slipped Disc
Lying down or sitting for long periods doesn’t do your body any good, and it doesn’t help your body deal with a slipped disc. In fact, it might make your condition worse or lead to an extended recovery period. Physical activity can help your back heal while helping maintain or improve your overall health.
It takes time to heal from a slipped disc. Some people heal in a couple of weeks, while others need a couple of months before their pain and stiffness goes away.
Since a slipped disc can cause a lot of pain, you don’t want to start in too quickly with exercise. Begin slowly and assess how your body reacts to each exercise before moving to a new one. It’s normal to feel some pain during gentle exercises, but if the pain intensifies or begins in a new area, stop immediately and take a break. Managing your pain will help you find relief and get back to a normal routine.
Knee to Chest Stretches
This exercise helps stretch the muscles along the sides of your body.
Step 1: Carefully lie on your back with your knees bent, using assistance as necessary.
Step 2: Bring one knee toward you and grasp it with both hands.
Step 3: Pull the knee toward you until you feel a slight stretch in your back, and count to 5.
Step 4. Release your knee and repeat with the other knee.
You can repeat this process 5 to 10 times per side.
Seated Chair Stretches
Stretching your hamstring muscle helps support your core and back, reducing the strain on your lower spine.
Kneeling Deep Lunges
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