A herniated disc can cause discomfort and sharp, radiating pain. They may also lower your ability to move and function. To keep up with your normal activities, day to day pain relief may become a top priority. What can you do to get on your way to feeling good again sooner rather than later?
South Coast Post Acute is one of southern California’s leading post-acute facilities that helps you conquer your injury. It’s never easy rehabilitating your body after an injury or illness, but our skilled staff will be there to guide you every step of the way. Read our blog post below to learn some of our best tips for recovering from a herniated disc.
The Basics of Herniated Discs
Between each of the vertebrae in your spine are small cushions or “discs.” When the material inside the disc pushes outwards this irritates nearby nerves and can cause aches, sharp pain, numbness, or loss of sensation in the shoulder, arm, butt, or leg. These occurrences of herniated discs are most common amongst people between the ages of 30 and 50. In most cases, pain can be treated using medications and physical therapy causing people to see relief in about four to six weeks.
Be Mindful of Your Movement
Being careful about the pressure you put on your herniated disc often goes unspoken as too much exertion leads to unwanted pain, but it is important to be mindful of activities that may worsen your condition. You should avoid standing for long periods of time, keep your back straight while lifting heavy objects, and avoid bending or reaching repetitively. Focusing on good posture while sitting, standing, or engaging in activities is important to recovering quickly.
Focus On Inflammation
For mild herniated disc pain, relieving inflammation is key to decreasing pain. Applying a heating pad or ice pack to the lower back can alleviate muscle tension caused by a herniated disc. To loosen the muscle tightness, increase blood flow, and improve flexibility of muscle connective tissue, apply heat to the affected area. To decrease the tissue temperature and produce an anti-inflammatory effect that reduces pain, apply ice.
People who are experiencing pain often avoid physical exertion, but exercise releases endorphins, which improve your mood and reduce your feelings of pain. Additionally, exercise can strengthen your body and reduce your risk of further injury. When experiencing a herniated disc it is important to stick to low impact activities such as stretching, walking outside or on a treadmill, using an elliptical trainer, or cycling. Water based activities such as swimming and water aerobics are also good activity choices because the buoyancy of water reduces the pressure put on your herniated disc.
Think About How You Sleep
Even when you are sleeping, you are at risk of increasing your pain from a herniated disc. Choose sleeping positions that relieve pressure from the spine. You can use a pillow under your knees to lessen tension in the lower back or sleep on your side with a pillow between your knees to keep your spine and hips straight.
Trust The Professionals
With most herniated discs, controlled movements can relieve pain and train your body to prevent future back and neck pain. The best way to make sure that you are performing exercises properly is to work with a trained physical therapist. The sooner you enroll in a physical therapy program, the better your recovery will be.
South Coast Post Acute is Your Partner in Physical Therapy
South Coast Post Acute is a 5-star rated Medicare facility and private healthcare community in Southern California. For over 40 years, we’ve provided first-class service that emphasizes a high level of compassion and spirit. When you enroll in our facility, you aren’t just treated as a patient, you’re treated like family. With a wide range of health services, our team of professionals is capable of helping you.
Contact us today and learn how South Coast Post Acute’s staff can help you recover from a herniated disc.