Herniated Disks and the Options for Recovery

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If the herniated disc is located in the low back area, the pain often seems to be roaming down the leg as the patient feels the pain in the area where the nerve winds up and not in the area where it’s really being aggravated. The nerve that is rubbed by the piece of the disk becomes irritated and inflamed. Cortisone decreases inflammation and when positioned around the irritated nerve can ease the pain. In the neck, herniated discs, or bone spurs, place pressure on the spinal cord resulting in progressive hardships while walking (DeLong, 2003). The location and size of the herniated disk determines the severity of the pain. Pain may extend over the buttocks, down the back of one thigh or maybe in one or both legs and cause the patient to experience numbness or weakness in the legs or feet. Bowel or bladder changes can also occur in acute cases. Patients are not able to soothe the pain even when lying down and experience unexpected twinges in the neck that cannot be adjusted without severe pain. This causes numbness in one or both arms (Scholten, 2005). There are many types of treatment options for herniated disk problems including surgery as well as less evasive techniques. Most patients who suffer symptoms generating from a herniated disc recuperate without surgery if they are involved in a program of conservative care. Effectual conservative care includes physical therapies and medications and can also include chiropractic treatments although this treatment is as yet controversial. As mentioned, cortisone can be positioned directly inside the spinal canal or nerve channel soothing the nerves by relieving inflammation. It’s widely recommended by physicians to attempt a conservative program before opting for surgery (DeLong, 2003). Conservative care options include but are not limited to physical therapies such as moderate stretching exercises to help relieve pressure on the nerve. ice and heat therapy.