A man holding his lower back due to his herniated disc

Living With a Herniated Disc

A herniated disc can range from mild aches to severe pain that can be felt throughout your entire body. While most discs will gradually start to feel better within a couple of weeks, they can become inflamed and worsen the pain. But, this doesn’t mean you have to live your life in discomfort. In fact, there are many ways you can avoid disc injuries and live a comfortable life.

At South Coast Post Acute, it is our mission to provide a high level of care to each of our patients. Our expert staff is here to guide you every step of the way in your recovery to ensure you have the best chance of rehabilitation. Read our article below and learn how you can live with a herniated disc.

What Exactly is a Herniated Disc?

A herniated disk occurs when there is a problem with one of the rubbery cushions that sit between the individual bones that stack to make your spine. Your spine has many levels of discs that have a jellylike center which is encased in a rubbery exterior. A ruptured disk will occur when the jellylike center pushes out through the exterior, creating a tear and irritating your nerves. 

Symptoms of a Herniated Disc

The most obvious sign that you have a ruptured disk is if there is pain on any part of your spine, especially in your lower back. The pain can spread from your back to your butt, thighs, and calves. Discomfort usually gets worse when you’re active and lessens when you’re at rest. Simple things like coughing, sneezing, and even just sitting can cause a shockwave of pain through your body. Additionally, symptoms can worsen by putting pressure on your pinched nerves.

What Can You Do?

One way you can mend a herniated disc is by visiting a chiropractor. This area of expertise is designed to provide treatment to remedy disc herniation over a long period of time. Not to mention prevent future episodes of herniation and its side effects.

Another way you can find support during this very uncomfortable time is through post-acute care. Post-acute care refers to a range of medical care services that support the individual’s continued recovery from illness or management of a chronic illness or disability or pain.

We are able to help people recover from herniated discs through rehabilitation. We work closely with every patient to determine the right course of action for recovery and support them through strong rehabilitation and in-home activities to get them feeling better. 

What Activities Should You Avoid?

It’s hard to avoid everything that causes you pain, but knowing what you should avoid is half the battle to your recovery. Here are just a few activities you should refrain from.

  • Doing laundry: Laundry day often means bending down to pick up clothes, carrying a heavy basket, or hyperextending to reach various items. Avoid doing laundry by asking a friend or family member to help carry out this task until you’re fully recovered
  • Vacuuming: The forward-lunging motion typically used to vacuum the floor can irritate your herniated disc. Instead of extending your arm and bending your back, keep your back straight and walk the vacuum across the floor
  • Filling your pet’s bowl with food and water: Bending down to fill your pet’s food and water dish can cause tremendous discomfort. If you’re unable to avoid this task, we recommend doing your best to keep your back straight as you lower down to fill their bowls
  • Strenuous exercise: Exercise is highly recommended when recovering from a herniated disc, but you should avoid workouts involving repetitive loading on your lower back like running or jumping rope. Also, avoid movements that involve a tremendous impact on your lower back like squats and leg press

Experiencing a Herniated Disc? South Coast Post Acute is Here for You

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-in-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 return to a normal life.

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