The body has evolved a number of ways to resist the general wear and tear that is experienced in everyday living. Muscles repair, bones reinforce themselves and cushions like joints prevent bones from directly wearing on each other. When something as sensitive as the disks surrounding the spine's bones becomes damaged, this can lead to tremendous pain and the loss of normal bodily functions so severe that it requires herniated disk treatment.
The human skeleton is meant to act as a rigid body that gives tissue like muscle, fat and skin something to hold on to. It's also meant to protect the internal organs, thus it is meant to resist a mild amount of force. While the bones in the skeleton are strong and durable, the tissue preventing them from damaging each other during everyday interaction can become damaged and lead to painful symptoms
The one thing preventing bones from directly rubbing together is the natural cushion provided by joints and fibrous tissue.
In joints like the elbow, this cushion is a combination of cartilage, muscle and fibrous tendons. When this cushion wears out, it results in inflammation and can further degenerate into arthritis that makes it difficult to move.
In areas where only a small amount of movement occurs, the type of tissue that cushions bones is a cartilaginous joint. This tissue is made purely of cartilage and is designed to withstand low amounts of compressive and tensile loading forces. This type of tissue has limited regenerative ability, thus it is one of the most common causes of pain in places like the back and between bones.
The most common occurrence of back pain stems from when the cartilage between the small, round disks encapsulating the spine wear down and become rigid or begin to bulge and rupture. The pain and numbness associated with a herniated disk occurs not from the inflamed or unhealthy tissue, but from the nerve tissue that the disk presses upon in the spinal column.
While most cases of herniated disks tend to resolve themselves on their own, extenuating circumstances can aggravate symptoms and make it impossible for the disk to heal on its own.
Herniated disk treatment aims to treat the causes of the herniated disk while managing pain and ensuring that no further damage occurs to the body. Non-surgical treatment is enough to help most cases of herniated disks within six months, but surgery may be necessary in some cases.
Non-surgical treatment is performed by teaching patients the proper techniques to care for their injury and exercise to aid in speeding up the recuperation process. Rest, medication and rehabilitation are all essential parts in reducing pain while restoring function.
Medicines that may be prescribed to treat inflammation and pain include: muscle relaxants, corticosteroids, opiods and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Surgical treatment is usually involved when a patient is at risk for additional nerve damage, progressive nerve damage, numbness, extreme weakness or pain that will not subside is present.
The pain and damage incurred by a herniated disk can generally be reversed. The important thing to keep in mind to ensure that this type of injury heals is to avoid making the injury worse by putting added stress on it. Following the directions and understanding the advice given by a medical professional will help force the symptoms of a herniated disk to subside.
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Aspen Integrative Medicine in Aspen offers a non surgical alternative to herniated disc treatment. 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.
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