Many patients who hear a diagnosis of a herniated disc immediately question whether spinal surgery is in their future. Whether or not surgery is the right option should be discussed with one's doctor. However, most patients can find back pain relief using more conservative treatments.
The most common school of thought on treating herniated discs focuses on treating pain. Anti-inflammatory drugs, cortisone injections, hot packs, ultrasound, and therapeutic exercises fall in this category.
While pain relief is important, the weakness of this approach is it fails to address the underlying cause of the herniated disc: why did it herniate in the first place? Ignoring the cause leads to repeated doctor visits for pain treatment. As pain worsens over time, surgery becomes a presented option.
A better approach is to understand the reason for the herniation and correct the problem. Not just mask the symptoms with pain killers.
Why a disc herniates
Outside of trauma, herniated discs do not happen overnight. They occur from long term uneven pressure on the disc due to postural dysfunctions caused by muscle imbalances.
Think of a jelly donut. If someone places a lot of pressure on one side and less on the other, the jelly is likely to bulge out the opposite side from the pressure. With enough pressure, the jelly will break through the donut. On the other hand, if the same amount of pressure was placed evenly across the entire donut the jelly might compress but would likely stay intact inside the donut.
Similarly, when muscle imbalances create improper hip and spine posture, the spinal discs between the vertebrae are unnaturally forced to sustain more weight and stress on one side than the other. Eventually, the disc wears down leading to a bulging, herniated or even a ruptured disc.
Non-surgical alternative treatments for herniated discs
There are at least five significant actions one can take right at home to help treat and reduce back pain from a herniated disc. Each is a superior alternative treatment to spinal surgery in most cases.
Reduce inflammation by increasing fluid intake (preferably by drinking clean water), improving eating habits, and reducing excess fibrin with proteolytic enzymes when possible.
Stop pain spasms, improve blood flow and increase range of motion with heat and cold therapy. The most effective and safe form of heat therapy is Far Infrared Heat (FIR).
Decompress the disc using inversion therapy. Excellent inversion tables can be purchased for this purpose for just a few hundred dollars.
Eliminate referred pain caused by trigger points which are a form of tiny muscular contraction knots.
Correct postural dysfunctions through stretching and exercise targeting specific muscle imbalances to eliminate the underlying root cause of your disc herniation.
Jesse Cannone is co-founder of the Healthy Back Institute and author of "The 7 Day Back Pain Cure". Get the facts on what's really causing your pain here http://www.losethebackpain.com/conditions