Most people with a slipped disc (lumbar region), will receive conservative treatment. This is not surgery. This can include relaxation, position, painkillers, or other local anesthetics, as well as manual and physical therapies.
Some slipped discs are not noticeable, but others can cause severe back problems. A slipped disc (lumbar) in the lower back can lead to sciatic nerve pressure, and radiating pain down the legs. Most people recover from a slipped disk within six weeks. There are a few things you can do to ease your pain and improve mobility.
Lumbar Herniated Disc – Initial Pain Control
When intense pain first occurs, you have the most immediate need for pain management. These are the most commonly used pain management options.
- Ice application. Ice or cold packs may be used to reduce inflammation and swelling associated with lumbar herniated disks. Ice massages may be beneficial as well. For back pain that has been present more than 48 hours, ice works best.
- Pain medication. Non-steroidal anti inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), which are not recommended by doctors, may be prescribed to treat pain and inflammation.
- Relaxants for the muscles. To relieve spasms caused by lumbar herniated disks, prescription medications may be prescribed.
- Heat therapy. The best way to ease muscle spasm pain is with heat therapy. There are three options available: heat pads or hot compresses. Some people prefer moist heat, such as a hot tub.
- You can use heat or ice. Some people find that alternating hot/cold compresses can be the best way to relieve pain.
For severe pain, it is best to limit your bed rest to one or two nights. Exercising for too long can cause stiffness, increased pain, and more discomfort. It’s best to keep your activity light, and move as much as possible. Avoid strenuous exercise and heavy lifting.
Herniated Disc Medication
A herniated spinal cord can affect different people in different ways. One person may not experience any symptoms while another person might feel severe pain that may require medication.
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication
Some of the discomfort that can be caused by a herniated disk may be due to the nerves or soft tissue surrounding it. An inflamed nerve or an enlarged nerve can cause a slipped disc. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medication can be used to reduce swelling and ease the pain.
The most common nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications are naproxen, ibuprofen, naproxen, and ibuprofen. All of them are available without prescription. They are all available without prescription. Your doctor will be able to advise you how to use them. If the herniated disc causes more severe pain than can usually be treated with standard over-the-counter medications, your doctor may recommend stronger anti-inflammatory medication.
A disc can slip out of its position between vertebrae, pinching nerves. This can cause electrical signals to be cut from the nerve to nearby muscles tissue. This can cause painful muscle spasms. Muscle relaxant medication can be used to ease pain and spasms so that you can move more easily. These medications may be prescribed by your doctor for a period of one to two weeks. Muscle spasms will usually disappear on their own.
Prescription Pain Relief
A herniated nerve pinching may cause severe pain. Your doctor may recommend prescription pain relief if you are experiencing severe pain. These medications are only good for a week. These medications will not cause you pain to worsen unless you are prescribed a muscle relaxant.
Your doctor may recommend corticosteroids if you have back or neck pain that isn’t being treated with other medications. Steroids are used to reduce inflammation and pain caused by a herniated disc. A prescription is not required. Steroids are usually only prescribed for a period of 7-10 days. The doctor will review your symptoms and recommend any additional treatment.
Being overweight can lead to or worsen spine problems. Because excess weight can cause problems in the spine and vertebrae. Nerve damage and pain can be caused by a herniated disc, or from being overweight.
Physical therapy may be recommended by an orthopedic doctor working with a psychiatrist or physical medicine doctor. Physical therapy is often used to relieve pain and prevent further damage due to a herniated disk.
It is essential to strengthen your core muscles (the buttocks, lower thighs, abdominal) in order to treat symptoms such as a bulging or herniated disc. This will cause the spine to be less stable and can lead to it being unable to support more weight. This extra pressure can cause instability and worsen existing problems. A physical therapist can design an exercise program that will strengthen these core muscles. This will improve your posture and relieve pressure on nerves that are affected by a slipped disc. It can also reduce pain.
A physical therapist may also recommend complementary therapies that can help improve your overall function, feel better, and strengthen core muscles. Massage therapy, stretching and heat ice can all be used to aid.
For herniated disc pain, corticosteroid injections are an alternative to oral corticosteroids. A corticosteroid injection should only be recommended after all other treatment options have failed. Steroids are known for their strong anti-inflammatory properties. You can inject them directly into the epidural space, which is the fluid-filled area surrounding the spinal cord.
Injectable steroids can provide pain relief for up to a year. Injections might not work for everyone. Although it can be difficult to determine the effectiveness of injectables before they are administered, steroids can provide long-lasting relief. Before starting any physical therapy, it is best to take steroids. This will enable strength-building exercises as well as painless injections.
Acupuncture is a medical procedure that uses thin needles to puncture the skin at precise points. Acupuncture is a method that stimulates healing. It targets specific points along “meridians”, which correspond to the nerve pathways affected by a herniated spinal cord. The body may release endorphins, which can be natural pain relief agents through acupuncture.
Manual therapy and treatments that are based on physical stimuli
Two options exist for treating sciatica due to a slipped disk. Manual therapy is one option, while the other relies on physical stimuli. Manual therapy can include massages and other techniques to relax tight joints or muscles. Physical stimuli treatments use cooling and heating to relieve pain. These therapies are often called passive treatments, as the patient does not need to actively participate in them. These are some of the most common treatments:
- Massages: There are many massage techniques that can be used to relax muscles and ease tension.
- There are many options for heating and cooling: You can use heat packs, heating patches, hot baths, saunas, or infrared lamps. Heat can relax tight muscles. Nerve irritations can be soothed with ice packs, such as gel packs and cold wraps.
- Ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to treat lower back pain. The vibrations produce heat and relax the body.
Passive therapies don’t seem to be able to speed up or relieve pain. Many people find heat and massages relaxing and pleasant.
Traditional Asian Medicine
These treatment options are based upon traditional Asian medicine.
- Acupuncture involves the use of fine needles to insert into specific points on the body. This is believed to reduce pain.
- Reiki: Reiki, a Japanese treatment for pain relief that uses specific hand placements, is called Reiki.
- Moxibustion (Heat Transfer), a technique that heats certain points of the body using glowing sticks or needles made from mugwort (“Moxa”) nearby.
These treatments have not been studied in high-quality and there is no evidence they reduce pain. Although there is no evidence that acupuncture reduces pain, it’s the only treatment for which we have data.
Relaxation, movement, and positioning
People with slipped discs used to be advised to remain in bed for at least one to two days. It is now recommended that people get up and move around, not just stay in bed. It is vital to get up and move as much as possible. Research has shown that exercising can increase mobility. However, studies have not shown that exercise can affect back pain. Even if you feel pain, it is important to continue with your daily activities. Exercise can help prevent back pain from returning, according to research.
Relaxation exercises may also be an option to relieve back pain. How you feel about pain and how you manage it can be affected by your mind. If the pain is severe, you can lie down or rest your back. The “psoas position” is favored by many people. When you’re lying down, raise your legs up so your knees are at 90 degrees. It is vital that you do not stay still for too long.
Injections to the spine
Injection therapy mainly uses local anesthetics and/or inflammation-reducing medications like steroids. These drugs are applied to the affected nerve root. This can be done in many different ways. The medication is administered directly to the spine canal’s nerve root. The medication can temporarily numb the nerve root.
During lumbar epidural, the medication is injected into an epidural space (“epidural injection”) The epidural area is the space that surrounds the spinal fluid and the spinal cord. It also houses nerve roots. Computer tomography and x-rays are used to monitor the spine. This allows for precise injections. If injections are done close to the spine, side effects may include nerve damage, bleeding or infection. Muscle weakness can result from prolonged injections. Radiation exposure from x-rays can also cause muscle weakness. It is therefore not possible to inject more than one person at a time. Multiple injections are a good idea. Consider the pros and cons.
Numerous studies have shown the effectiveness of injections for relieving sciatica. This made it possible for people to move more easily and continue their daily activities. Steroid injections seem to be more effective that other types.
Keep active and treat your pain
Acute low back pain is often caused by something that isn’t clear. It usually disappears within days. Even if the problem is caused by a slip disc, your body will likely heal it in six weeks. Many treatments can affect the speed of your recovery. You may feel more relaxed with hot packs or massages. You can get short-term relief for severe pain by reducing strain on your back, using anti-inflammatory medication or local anesthetics. The body does most of the work.
If the symptoms of a slipped disc persist for more than a few days, it might be possible to have surgery to relieve pressure on the nerves. Experts agree that Germany’s slipped disc surgery is far more common than it should be. If you aren’t sure whether you need surgery, it might be worth asking for a second opinion.
Even when you’re in pain, it is important to stay active. Exercise will not only keep you fit but also help improve your mood. To prevent back pain from becoming chronic, it is important to exercise regularly and keep your core muscles (torso) strong. Research has shown that exercising can help reduce back pain.