Moderate Physical Activity Releases Endorphins
While it may seem counterintuitive, staying active can provide pain relief if you have a lumbar herniated disc. When you exercise the body releases endorphins, which can naturally improve your mood3 and reduce the perception of pain.
Most people with lumbar herniated discs are able to tolerate low-impact activities such as:
- Walking outside or on a treadmill
- Using an elliptical trainer
Read more about Low-Impact Aerobic Exercise
If your pain is more severe, you may want to try a water-based activity, such as hydrotherapy. Water-based activities are often recommended because the buoyancy of water counteracts gravity and decreases the load bearing placed on your spinal discs. Your health care provider may suggest a dedicated water physical therapy program or swimming.
What Is The Treatment For A Compressed Disc
A compressed disc is a fairly common condition, and it can be quite painful. This condition, often known as a herniated disc or bulging disc, occurs when excess pressure is placed on a spinal disc, which sits between two hard vertebrae in the spine. The excess pressure can lead to a bulge in the disc, which in turn will place pressure on the nerves that run in and around the spine. A compressed disc can lead to temporary pain or permanent issues such as reduced mobility or motor control, so prompt treatment is important. Many non-surgical treatment options exist, and these are usually attempted before surgery.
Some types of braces have been designed to completely immobilize the spine, thereby taking pressure off the disc. This can help promote healing and prevent further injury to the affected area. If the disc heals, the pressure on the nerves will be alleviated and pain should cease or at least abate somewhat. This can take a long time, and the brace may be necessary for extended periods of time as prescribed by a doctor or medical professional. Wearing such a brace can be quite uncomfortable and will limit daily activities.
What Is A Herniated Lumbar Disc
A herniated disc occurs when the gel-like center of your disc ruptures out through a tear in the tough disc wall .The gel material is irritating to your spinal nerves, causing something like a chemical irritation. The pain is a result of spinal nerve inflammation and swelling caused by the pressure of the herniated disc. Over time, the herniation tends to shrink and you may experience partial or complete pain relief. In most cases, if low back and/or leg pain is going to resolve it will do so in about 6 weeks.
Different terms may be used to describe a herniated disc. A bulging disc occurs when the disc annulus remains intact, but forms an outpouching that can press against the nerves. A true herniated disc occurs when the disc annulus cracks or ruptures, allowing the gel-filled center to squeeze out. Sometimes the herniation is so severe that a free fragment occurs, meaning a piece has broken completely free from the disc and is in the spinal canal.
Most herniated discs occur in the lumbar spine, where spinal nerves exit between the lumbar vertebrae, and then join together again to form the sciatic nerve, which runs down your leg.
Read Also: Aleve Good For Back Pain
How Does A Slipped Disc Progress
In most cases, the symptoms tend to improve over a few weeks. Research studies of repeated magnetic resonance imaging scans have shown that the bulging prolapsed portion of the disc tends to shrink over time in most cases. The symptoms then tend to ease and, in most cases, go away completely. About 50 out of every 100 people improve within 10 days, and 75 out of a 100 after four weeks. In only about 2 out of every 100 people with a ‘slipped’ disc is the pain still bad enough after 12 weeks that they end up having to have surgery .
Using An Inversion Table For A Pinched Nerve
At a cost equivalent to a couple of visits to a chiropractor, an inversion table can naturally relieve low back pinched nerve pain, potentially avoiding the need for office visits and pills.
Inverting 2-3 times a day, at an angle of 60 degrees or more, helps release the muscles that contribute to pinched nerves, and allows the spine to decompress and stretch the tight muscles that support the spine.
Innova Inversion Table best value in 2020
Inverting 2 to 3 times per day, ideally to an angle of 60 degrees or greater, allows the spine to decompress and stretches the constricted and tight muscles that support the spine.
The spinal discs can re-hydrate with fluid and increase the space between each vertebra, creating more room for the nerves that pass through openings in the spinal column.
See the 4 best-value inversion tables for back pain in 2020.
Inversion Table Alternatives
If you are one of the people who feel an inversion table is not for them, there are great alternatives for inverting, that can produce the same effect.
The Spinal Stretch
You May Like: Advil Or Ibuprofen For Back Pain
What Can I Do At Home To Relieve Herniated Disk Pain
In most cases, pain from a herniated disk can go away in time. To ease pain while your disk heals, you can:
- Rest for one to three days, if the pain is severe, but it important to avoid long periods of bed rest to prevent stiffness.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
- Apply heat or ice to the affected area.
Who Is At Risk For Lumbar Disk Disease
Although age is the most common risk, physical inactivity can cause weak back and abdominal muscles, which may not support the spine properly. Back injuries also increase when people who are normally not physically active participate in overly strenuous activities. Jobs that require heavy lifting and twisting of the spine can also cause back injuries.
Also Check: Does Motrin Help With Back Pain
Fixing The Root Cause
Now that your pain is relieved, you can focus on treating the root cause of your pinched nerve.
The best way to do that is by rebuilding the support structure of your back.
A healthy back comes from within. You cant fix it with a pill. You cant get it from a gadget. And the surgeon cant install it on the operating table .
Consider physically rebuilding your back support system.
In simpler terms restore the muscle balances in your lower back.
You can learn more about muscle imbalances, how they caused your pinched nerve in the first place, and how to fix them HERE.
What have you tried so far to fix your pinched nerve? Share with us in the comments below.
To your health and happiness,
What Causes A Slipped Disc
It is not clear why some people develop a ‘slipped’ disc and not others, even when they do the same job or lift the same sort of objects. It seems that some people may have a weakness in the outer part of the affected disc. Various things may trigger the inner softer part of the disc to squeeze out through the weakened outer part of the disc. For example, sneezing, awkward bending, or heavy lifting in an awkward position may cause some extra pressure on the disc. In people with a weakness in a disc, this may be sufficient to cause a prolapse. Factors that may increase the risk of developing a prolapsed disc include:
- A job involving lots of lifting.
- A job involving lots of sitting .
- Weight-bearing sports .
You May Like: Mayo Clinic Lower Back Pain Exercises
What Happens To My Herniated Disc If I Dont Have Surgery
A study of patients with different sized herniations showed that by six months to one year, herniated disc material had dissolved in many of the cases. The larger the herniation , the faster the material was reabsorbed.
Long-term studies have shown that, although surgical intervention may generate a faster initial recovery time, conservative outcomes are equally effective in patients after five and 10 years .
What Causes A Compressed Nerve
A few common causes for lumbar pinched nerves are:
1. Repetitive motion
2. Holding the body in one position for long periods .
4. Arthritis of the spine.
But when we look at these causes through the holistic approach, we see that all of these causes have the same root cause: muscle Imbalances.
The important thing to understand is that a pinched nerve, or Sciatica, is not a condition or a disease.
Its just a symptom of something else.
Much like coughing is a symptom of pneumonia. If you want to stop the coughing, the smart way to go is to cure pneumonia, not just swallow coughing syrup.
Well get to that later, and see how to reverse it easily and at home.
Also Check: Does Aleve Work For Back Pain
Physical Therapy Guide To Herniated Disk
A herniated disk occurs when the cushion-like cartilage between the bones of the spine is torn, and the gelatin-like core of the disk leaks. Often mistakenly called a slipped disk, a herniated disk can be caused by sudden trauma or by long-term pressure on the spine. This condition most often affects people aged 30 to 50 years men are twice as likely to be diagnosed as women. Repeated lifting, participating in weight-bearing sports, obesity, smoking, and poor posture are all risk factors for a herniated disk. The majority of herniated disks do not require surgery, and respond best to physical therapy. Physical therapists design personalized treatment programs to help people with herniated disks regain normal movement, reduce pain, and get back to their regular activities.
Physical therapists are movement experts. They improve quality of life through hands-on care, patient education, and prescribed movement. You can contact a physical therapist directly for an evaluation. To find a physical therapist in your area, visit Find a PT.
Will I Need To Have Spinal Surgery
Herniated disks get better on their own over time or with nonsurgical treatment for 9 out of 10 people. If other treatments dont relieve your symptoms, your healthcare provider may recommend surgery. There are multiple surgical techniques for relieving pressure on the spinal cord and nerves, including:
- Diskectomy to remove your herniated disk.
- Laminectomy to remove part of the bone around a herniated disk and expand your spinal canal.
- Artificial disk surgery to replace a damaged herniated disk with an artificial one.
- Spinal fusion to directly join two or more vertebrae together to make your spine more stable.
Read Also: Is Aleve Or Ibuprofen Better For Back Pain
What Is A Lumbar Bulging Or Herniated Disc
Discs are like miniature jelly doughnuts, exactly the right size to fit between your vertebrae. Theyre made out of an outer layer of tough cartilage that surrounds softer cartilage in the center.
A bulging disk looks like a hamburger thats too big for the bun. The disc extends outside its normal place and the bulge typically affects a large portion of the disc.
Bulging is considered part of the normal aging process of the disk.
A herniated disk, on the other hand, happens when a crack in the tough outer layer of cartilage allows some of the softer inner cartilage to escape out of the disk.
Herniated disks are also called ruptured disks or slipped disks, and cause much more pain than compressed discs.
What Are The Symptoms
Symptoms of a herniated disc vary greatly depending on the location of the herniation and your own response to pain. If you have a herniated lumbar disc, you may feel pain that radiates from your low back area, down one or both legs, and sometimes into your feet . You may feel a pain like an electric shock that is severe whether you stand, walk, or sit. Activity such as bending, lifting, twisting, and sitting may increase the pain. Lying flat on your back with knees bent may be the most comfortable because it relieves the downward pressure on the disc.
Sometimes the pain is accompanied by numbness and tingling in your leg or foot. You may experience cramping or muscle spasms in your back or leg.
In addition to pain, you may have leg muscle weakness, or knee or ankle reflex loss. In severe cases, you may experience foot drop or loss of bowel or bladder control. If you experience extreme leg weakness or difficulty controlling bladder or bowel function, you should seek medical help immediately.
Don’t Miss: Aleve For Lower Back Pain
So What Is A Bulging Disc
To understand what a bulging disc is, we must first understand the anatomy of the spine.
Put simply, the spine is made up of individual vertebrae stacked on top of each other. Between each vertebrae is an intervertebral disc that provides a cushion so the vertebrae dont rub together. The discs between the vertebrae, have a gel-like material inside .
A great way to think of the discs is like that of a balloon filled with water, and these discs help resist compressive forces on the spine.
When a disc bulges the gel-like material inside of it gets pushed back towards the nerves and structures of the spine. This bulge can sometimes compress spinal structures, ligaments or nerves in your spine and cause pain, tingling/or burning sensation, and/or other symptoms.
* It is important to note that a bulging disc doesnt always touch the nerves, and for many a bulged disc doesnt even produce any pain at all. However, it could progress to become a herniated disc eventually, which can be problematic.
- Sitting for long periods of time, esp in poor posture puts more pressure on the discs.
- Decreased hydration of the disc as one ages .
- Repetitive bending, lifting, and twisting .
- Heavy lifting with poor form due to stress on the front of the spinal column causing the disc to bulge out back.
- Can also result from osteoarthritis or age-related degeneration.
- Trauma such as a car accident.
Potential Causes For A Bulging Disc
- People who have led a sedentary lifestyle or those who smoke increase the chances for bulging disc.
- Continuous strain on the disc from injury or heavy lifting and strain can wear them down throughout the years.
- Weakened back muscles can accelerate the process and may lead to a sudden herniation of the weakened disc.
- Although bulging discs occur over time, herniated discs may occur quickly by trauma.
- Bad posture including improper body positioning during sleep, sitting, standing or exercise are all risk factors which may contribute to the development of a bulging disc.
You May Like: Will Aleve Help With Back Pain
Check Out This Video About Herniated Discs From Our Chiropractor Dr Oliver:
Other herniated disk treatment options include:
Rest often a couple of days of rest will help to calm severe pain caused by lumbar disc herniation. However, its important that you dont rest for longer than this as it can actually worsen pain and stiffness.
Anti-inflammatory medications medications such as ibuprofen and naproxen may help to reduce inflammation and relieve pain.
Physical therapy performing specific exercises to increase range of motion and strengthen muscles in your lower back and core may help to relieve pain and reduce your chance of re-injuring yourself.Spinal manipulation manipulation of the joints of the lower back may help to improve range of motion and decrease pain.
Massage therapy may help to increase blood circulation and relax muscles thereby helping to reduce pain.Epidural steroid injections injection of corticosteroids into the affected area may help to reduce local inflammation and relieve pain.
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.
You May Like: Advil Or Tylenol For Back Pain
Bulging Disc Symptoms Causes And Treatments Options
You may have had a medical exam that revealed an underlying health problem. The physician explained that you have a Bulging Disc, but you may still have questions that have been unanswered.
This condition can happen to anyone at any age but is more prevalent in older populations or with those who are involved in strenuous physical activity for extended periods of time. It is important to understand the symptoms, causes, and treatments for a bulging disc to prevent the condition from worsening.
What Causes Spinal Cord Compression
One of the most common causes of spinal cord compression is the gradual wear and tear on the bones of the spine, known as osteoarthritis. People who develop spinal cord compression from this are usually older than 50.
Other conditions that may cause spinal cord compression can develop more quickly, even very suddenly, and can occur at any age:
Abnormal spine alignment
“Foot drop,” weakness in a foot that causes a limp
Loss of sexual ability
Pressure on nerves in the lumbar region can also cause more serious symptoms known as cauda equina syndrome. If you have any of these symptoms, you need to get medical attention right away, typically in the emergency room:
Loss of bowel or bladder control
Severe or increasing numbness between the legs, inner thighs, and back of the legs
Severe pain and weakness that spreads into one or both legs, making it hard to walk or get out of a chair
Spinal Fusion | Richard Shetter’s Story
Recommended Reading: Ibuprofen For Back Pain Dosage