Get Quick Relief for a Herniated Disc | Dr. Levi

How to Heal a Herniated Disc Quickly

How to Heal a Herniated Disc Quickly

Disc herniation can be a painful condition affecting not only mobility but also overall well-being. Fortunately, understanding what a herniated disc is and how it occurs can guide us toward effective treatment options for a fast recovery.

What is a Herniated Disc?

First of all, what’s a disc? Think of your spine as a stack of bones (your vertebrae). Discs are the small, rubbery cushions that sit between those bones. They provide flexibility and shock absorption to the spine. Discs have a soft, gel-like center that is encased by a tough, fibrous outer layer.

A herniated disc, also referred to as a slipped or ruptured disc, is when a disc’s exterior is torn and the soft inside protrudes. When this inner core pushes out, it can press on nearby nerves, leading to pain, numbness or weakness in a variety of areas. Commonly, herniated discs are found in the lower back or neck.

How Does a Herniated Disc Occur?

Several factors can contribute to disc herniation, such as:

1. Degeneration

As we age, normal wear and tear on our bodies can weaken discs, making them less flexible and more susceptible to herniation.

2. Trauma or injury

Sudden impacts from auto accidents, lifting, bending, coughing, sneezing, work injuries, falls or awkwardly twisting can injure a disc.

3. Physically demanding jobs

Having a job with strenuous, repetitive movements can cause a ruptured disc.

4. Improper lifting

Lifting heavy objects with improper posture and technique can strain the spine and lead to disc herniation.

5. Obesity

Being overweight increases the strain on the discs in your lower back.

6. Smoking

Smoking of any kind decreases oxygen supply to your discs causing them to degenerate more rapidly.

7. Genetics

Some people have a genetic predisposition to disc problems.

How Is a Herniated Disc Diagnosed?

If you have prolonged pain, numbness or tingling in your arm, leg, buttocks, thigh, calf or foot, it’s a good idea to have a doctor evaluate you. A chiropractor like Dr. Levi will conduct a physical exam, take your medical history and discuss any injuries you may have had recently. Your reflexes, muscle strength as well as your ability to walk and feel sensations will all be checked. You may also receive an X-ray, MRI or a nerve test to help identify the exact location of the herniated disc.

What are the Best Treatments for a Herniated Disc?

Recovery from a herniated disc usually involves a combination of therapies tailored to your individual needs. The most common and most effective treatments are:

1. Chiropractic care

Therapies performed by a skilled chiropractor can help realign the spine and relieve pressure on affected discs. Drug-free, manual techniques include:

  • Lumbar adjustments
  • Spinal traction and decompression
  • Functional exercises
  • Massage therapy

2. Physical therapy

Tailored exercises and stretches can strengthen core muscles, improve flexibility and restore normal movement patterns. Physical therapy usually focuses on the affected area to reduce pressure on the spine, alleviate pain and improve function.

3. Heat and ice

Alternating heat and ice packs can help reduce inflammation in the affected area. Heat helps to relax muscles and increase blood flow, while ice can reduce swelling and numb the area.

4. Rest

Adequate rest is crucial in the early stages of recovery to allow the body to heal. However, prolonged bed rest is not recommended as it can weaken muscles and reduce needed oxygen flow to your discs. Finding a balance between rest and gentle movement is important.

5. Posture improvement

Adopting proper posture habits, both while sitting and standing, can significantly reduce strain on the spine. Ergonomic adjustments at work and at home, such as using supportive footwear or adjusting computer setups, can alleviate pressure in the affected area.

6. Weight management

As we mentioned earlier, carrying around excess pounds puts strain on your spine exacerbating symptoms of a herniated disc. By losing extra weight, you give your spine a break.

7. Surgery

Fortunately, the majority of patients diagnosed with disc protrusion/herniation/bulge respond to the tailored treatments designed for them and never need surgery. In extreme cases, surgery can be a last resort.

Herniated Disc Chiropractor in Maryland

Healing from a herniated disc requires patience and a holistic approach to treatment. Levi Chiropractic has been providing surgery-free, medication-free solutions to people with herniated discs for over 25 years. If you suspect you have a herniated disc that is causing you pain and discomfort, contact us to see how we can help.