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Herniated Disk Treatment Options

     Pain and injury are unwelcome additions to one's life. When it comes in the form of leg pain, back pain, or even muscle weakness, a herniated disk could be the cause of the pain. Herniated disks are potentially serious injuries that must be treated properly. Herniated disk treatment is essential to healing this injury. There are several treatment options.

What is a Herniated Disk?

The spine is a set of bones that is used to support the body and protect the spinal cord. It serves many vital functions in the human body. Between each bone of the spine is a soft cushion called a spinal disk. These disks have several functions including being a shock absorber and allowing movement and mobility in the vertebrae.

When a disk becomes herniated, it ruptures and is pushed beyond its normal place in the spine. It bulges outward and can pinch nerves.

An accident such as a fall can be the cause of a herniated disk. Continually straining or overusing the spine can eventually cause a disk herniation, too.

Treatment Options

There are many ways to treat a herniated disk. The type of treatment that is most appropriate depends on several factors including symptoms experienced along with the age of the patient and whether his or her symptoms are worsening.

Conservative Treatments

A simple and rather effective treatment is rest. Avoiding activities that could worsen the herniated disk is crucial to recovery.

Another way to help is to use ice and heat. Using an ice-pack and heat-packs can greatly lessen the pain of the bulging disk, and it can also reduce swelling and muscle spasms. The road to recovery is shortened by proper rest and use of heat and ice on the affected area.

Physical therapy is another treatment method that can help the spine. It doesn't directly affect the disk, but it stabilizes and strengthens the muscles surrounding the disk. Balanced spinal muscles help protect nerves and lessen unnecessary strain and weight on the herniated disk and other disks.

Anti-inflammatory medications are another good treatment option. They reduce pain and swelling. Before taking any medication, it is important to check with a doctor to make sure it is all right to take them. If the herniation is severe and very painful, a doctor can prescribe more powerful anti-inflammatory medication, muscle relaxants, and pain killers if required.

Another non-surgical treatment option is steroid injections. Epidural steroid injections send cortisone directly into the affected area. Cortisone helps relieve nerve compression and lessens pain and other symptoms.

Surgical Treatments

If the above treatments are not sufficient in resolving the problem, surgical treatment may be the best option.

A microdiscectomy is one possibility. This procedure involves the removal of just the portion of the herniated disk that is bulging and causing problems. It is taken out from under the nerve root. It takes a while to heal from surgery, but people generally feel almost immediate pain relief.

Spinal fusion is a more drastic surgical treatment. This type of surgery actually fuses two vertebrae together. It is recommended for certain disk herniations. Spinal fusions help with instability, pain, and other serious spinal problems.

Herniated disk treatment comes in many forms. From surgery to medication to physical therapy, there is a good treatment option available to help anyone in need.

Article Source:

Aspen Integrative Medicine in Basalt offers a holistic alternative to herniated disk treatment. Locally serving the Aspen Valley region of Colorado, this center focuses on non surgical alternatives to healing. Contact us today to see how your old injuries can be finally healed. Aspen Integrative Medicine has patients from Grand Junction to Denver and around the world.

Posted on 2013-08-13, By: *

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