When you have a herniated disc it can be quite painful, particularly so if the disc is pressing upon a tender nerve. The good news is that coping with a herniated disc is possible if you are experiencing no pressure on a nerve. In fact many people have a herniated disc and have no idea because they are living without symptoms. Unfortunately there are those who do experience painful symptoms, and for them pain relief is a main priority.
So, what can you do to seek herniated disk relief? There are several things actually, but the first thing you need to do is remain active. It may seem counter-intuitive and everything within you will fight against performing even basic physical activity, but the truth is that light physical activity will not only improve the circulation of blood, but it will also help prevent future injuries.
Simple activities like walking and running expedites the healing process by allowing oxygen-rich blood to flow a little faster throughout the body—particularly to the affected area—just from a quick run or a brisk walk. This is especially true for those seeking relief from a herniated disc but currently lack physical activity in their daily lives. Begin with a medium pace walk and expand the speed and distance as you go.
Core & Posture
Another important step in pain relief is core strength, as in the abdominal area, lower back, pelvis and diaphragm. A strong core will aid in maintaining good posture—which can lead to lower back pain and worsen a herniated disc—and it will support your body from within to quicken the healing process.
Core exercises like crunches can help, however you should speak with your physical therapist to find out if there are any activities that may cause you more pain.
Those who spend a great deal of time sitting down, especially at a desk, are most likely to suffer from poor posture. Sitting all day will give the spine a ‘C’ curve rather than the typical ‘S’ curve, which alleviates the pressure placed on a herniated disc. A back support cushion can be effective in relieving the pain or tension on a herniated disc so that it may heal. You can find these cushions with built-in massagers to improve blood circulation and relax back muscles.
The Healthy Back Institute offers a large selection of cushions for back support, check out their inventory to find a suitable cushion.
You may also find that an ergonomic chair and keyboard can help you maintain the body’s natural posture to provide relief for a herniated disc.
Stretching is an essential component of strong and healthy muscles regardless of health, but particularly when you have pain such as that from a herniated disc. Stretching relieves muscle tension and prevents it from building when used as a preventative measure. You should specifically aim to stretch the shoulders, back and neck, but a full body stretch can help keep the muscles loose and relaxed.
In fact physical therapy is often recommended to treat a herniated disc, and they will provide you with a series of stretches that are perfect for you. It is advisable that you seek out the counsel of a physical therapist before you begin an exercise or stretching regimen as you do not want the pain to get worse.
In addition to maintaining regular physical activity you also want to tackle the swelling and tension that often results from a displaced or slipped disc. The best way to do this is in the form of hot and cold compresses to the affected area.
A cold compress can help reduce swelling and when combined with a hot compress to improve the circulation of blood through the affected area. To get longer lasting relief take a look at The Healthy Back Institute’s infrared heating pad that penetrates heat deep into the muscles to provide extreme tension relief. Visit Lose The Back Pain for their full selection of infrared heating pads.
There are many ways to get relief from symptoms of a herniated disc, but these will help in the immediate aftermath until you have visited with your physician.