Lumbar herniated disc can result in serious pain that patients often describe as a burning sensation from the spine towards the leg. The disc pain can occur at different locations and this determines the most suitable treatment option. If untreated, a herniated disc can diminish one’s quality of life and even cause additional health problems. In fact, surgery is usually recommended to patients who experience severe pain from a herniated disc. Here are a few treatment options to reduce the pain caused by a herniated disc.
Simple home remedies
For those patients whose pain is not that severe, home remedies that target the affected area can bring some relief. For instance, you can try applying a heating pad or an ice pack on the area where you feel the most pain. Consider different forms of heat therapy like spending several hours in a warm whirlpool every evening. The heat can really help to reduce muscle spasms. Avoid strenuous tasks that put extra pressure on your back and take adequate time to relax.
Consider a change of lifestyle
If you are suffering from a herniated disc, it’s important to make changes to your lifestyle and avoid putting unnecessary pressure on your back. For instance, ladies may be advised to give their high heels a rest because it puts pressure on the herniated disc. You also need to avoid standing or sitting for long periods of time because this often puts excess pressure on your spine. Avoid lifting heavy objects and if you must, make sure your back remains straight as you pick the item. Most importantly, maintain a good posture when standing or sitting.
Stretches and other forms of exercise
Consider different forms of exercise that strengthen your back without putting any excess pressure on your spine. The type of exercise that is most ideal for you depends on where the herniated disk is located. Exercising regularly usually helps to relieve pain because it strengthens the back muscles causing the disc to lessen.
There are several over the counter as well as prescription medication to deal with lumbar herniated disc pain. Over the counter pain medications like ibuprofen and naproxen are quite commonly used. However, they only provide a temporary solution to deal with the pain. Patients are usually recommended to see a physician who will determine the best treatment option to deal with lumbar herniated disc pain. Physicians can recommend narcotics, nerve pain meds and injections in severe cases when over the counter pain meds have failed to work. However, some of these pain medications have serious side effects like nausea, confusion and constipation so you may want to consider this as a last resort after you have tried the home remedies and failed.
Even though most people with lumbar herniated disc can receive treatment non-surgically, there are cases when surgery is required. The physician is likely to recommend a surgical procedure if the herniated disc is causing severe pain. The procedures are usually non-invasive and with good care the recovery time is shortened.