The human body has an amazing ability to heal itself, given the right set of tools. However, leaving a disc issue untreated can cause permanent damage to nerves affected by a slipped, bulging, herniated or degenerating disc. That is why most people turn to a physician when they experience pain, burning, numbness, or tingling often associated with a disc problem. Treatments often include one or more of the following.
One of the most common ways physicians treat disc issues is with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Often used over-the-counter, these medications are designed to reduce inflammation in the affected area. This, in turn, relieves pain associated with a disc issue.
When over-the-counter medications fail, many doctors prescribe pain medications to help a person function while their body heals. The only problem is that these medications do not address the underlying problems that are causing the disc issue in the first place. However, when medication is combined with other therapies aimed at healing the disc, it can serve a vital purpose in a rehabilitation plan.
Stretching & Strengthening
Disc issues are often caused by muscle weakness in a person’s back, stomach, and legs. If these muscles are strengthened, the spine returns to its proper position and the disc can heal on its own.
Stretching and strengthening exercises are vital to a complete recovery, but when they are prescribed on their own, they do not relieve enough pain and discomfort for a patient to stick with them. In most cases, a patient will perform these exercises for a few days and when their discomfort intensifies, will quit altogether.
When used in conjunction with a pain-relieving plan, stretching and strengthening exercises are an important part of total recovery.
Many physicians feel that surgery is the answer for disc issues. A neurologist surgically repairs or removes the damaged part of the disc so it no longer presses on the nerve nearest to it. However, surgery of this nature is risky. The surgical field is very small and the margin of error is even smaller. Add in the risks associated with anesthesia and the recovery time associated with moving muscles and nerves in the back and surgery is not as attractive of an option as other less invasive treatments.
If surgery is the most invasive treatment you can receive for disc issues, chiropractic care is on the other end of the spectrum. Non-invasive and designed to be gentle, chiropractic care returns the vertebrae to their proper position, allowing the nerves that emanate from the spine to communicate effectively.
Over time, muscles begin to compensate for the spine’s new position, holding it in place on its own. As the bones in the spine regain their position, so do the discs between them, relieving many of the symptoms associated with disc issues.
Spinal decompression is designed to treat disc issues with gravity.
This non-invasive therapy consists of sitting in a chair that reclines into a traction position. The chair uses gravity to gently lengthen the spine and allow the compressed or herniated disc to return to its normal size and position.
Many patients report relief in a single treatment. But over time, and with continued treatment, the disc often heals on its own as it returns to its proper place. When combined with ice and heat therapies, massage and stretching and strengthening exercises, spinal decompression has proven more effective than surgery for treating disc issues.
Whether your disc issues have been coming on gradually or seemed to happen all at once, do not wait for the pain, burning, numbness, or tingling to go away. Call Your Naperville Disc Center today to find out how our non-invasive care can help resolve your disc issues.