Many people suffer from herniated discs in the U.S. This is a very painful situation and many people who experience it turn to spinal decompression surgery, non-surgical spinal decompression, discectomy, and numerous other back surgeries. If you or someone you know suffers from a herniated disc, you will want to know the options that are available to you.
What Causes a Herniated Disc? -
To truly understand your options, you will need to know what causes the problem so you are ready to solve it.
The spinal column is made up of discs, muscles and nerves. It runs down your back. These discs have a hard covering with a soft jelly-like filling that acts as a shock absorber for the back. A herniated disc occurs when the hard outer shell of a vertebra tears. The tear allows the inner jelly to leak out. This fluid presses on the spine and surrounding nerves and causes unbearable pain.
Should You Take Medication? -
The first and most common treatment is medication. Pain medication is given to mask the symptoms. However, it does nothing to cure the problem. Therefore, while taking medication is a good idea to start with, it is not a solution. Patients should seek a healing treatment for a long-term solution as medication is only for the short-term.
Should You Have Surgery? -
Many doctors will recommend surgery for a long-term solution. However, you need to know that surgery has a low success rate. In fact, only about half the people see an improvement at all. In addition, the recovery period is long, painful and requires physical therapy. Therefore, surgery should only be considered as a last resort.
Should You Try Decompression? -
While a few doctors may offer non-surgical spinal decompression, most people will need to seek out a chiropractor for this treatment. The FDA has approved decompression therapy as an effective treatment for herniated discs, bulging discs, and degenerative disc pain.
The treatment has a high success rate and patients report little to no discomfort. Generally, patients need multiple treatments before they experience relief. However, some patients experience immediate relief.
This treatment is often combined with chiropractic adjustments and physical therapy. Some chiropractors offer massage therapy and nutritional counseling as well.
It is recommended to try non-surgical decompression before electing surgery.
Exercises for Herniated Discs -
The chances are if you have back pain then you will be given exercises to do along with whatever treatment you receive. Pretty much every doctor and chiropractor will have you do strengthening exercises to promote a strong and healthy back.
These exercises are by far the best way to treat the pain. They require no invasive surgery or trips to the doctor. The best part is they can be done at home.
However, if you experience any discomfort during the exercises, you should stop. In addition, if you are not sure how to perform an exercise, then you need to seek advice before performing the movement. It is in these cases that seeking a physical therapist helps.
It is recommended to find a chiropractor that works with a physical therapist. This way you can get all the treatment in one office and minimize the confusion between separate offices. When you have a team that works together, you will receive better treatment.