Top 5 Tips for Herniated Disc Pain Relief

Herniated disc pain often occurs in the upper and lower portions of the spineHerniated disc pain JOIImage of the spine, otherwise known as the cervical or lumbar spine. A degenerated l4 and 5 spinal discs is very common. Herniated discs pain is one of the most common causes of low back pain, as well as sciatic symptoms in the lower extremities. 

Disc Pain Relief Tips 

  • Rest 
  • Use Heat
  • Therapy
  • Manual Manipulation 
  • Meditation 

It is estimated that between 60-80% of the general population will experience lower back pain at some point in their lives. Although a herniated disc or a bulging disc can sometimes be very painful, most individuals find relief with just a few weeks or months of conservative treatment. 

Here are 5 tips that may help someone who has been diagnosed with a herniated disc or bulging disc pain.  Before attempting any of these techniques, you will need to consult with your medical professional to see if these techniques are right for you.  

Herniated Disc Pain JOI Rehab Top 5 Tips for Herniated Disc Pain Relief

What should you do for herniated disc pain?

1. Rest

Most often 1-2 days of strict bed rest will calm severe back pain. Bed rest should not exceed 48 hours. Once you are back into your daily routine, you should take frequent rest breaks throughout the day- but avoid sitting for long periods of time. 

Increase your body awareness, and make all your movements slow and controlled. Change your daily activities so that you avoid movements that cause further pain, especially bending forward and lifting.  Rest is a very important aspect in the lower back injury recovery time.

2. Use Heat

Those with back injuries most likely will encounter moderate-severe and at times, debilitating muscle spasms. Try placing a heating pad or hot compress against your lower back periodically throughout the day. 

You can experiment with different forms of heat therapy to see what works best for you- adhesive heat wraps that apply continuous, low-level heat over several hours or a warm whirlpool at the end of the day- try several options and see what gives you the most relief.

3. Physical Therapy

Discuss the McKenzie Exercises Method with a Physical Therapist: The McKenzie Method is one type of therapy that involves a specific approach to exercise with the goal of shifting the pain away from your leg (sciatica) and centralizing it more in your lower back. 

Standing Extension McKenzie Exercise JOI RehabStanding Extension McKenzie Exercise 

Another technique or philosophy used in physical therapy is Williams Flexion Exercises.  To read more about these exercises, go to Williams Flexion.

Williams Flexion Exercise Single Knee To Chest by JOI RehabKnee to Chest Williams Flexion Exercise

After your sciatica has resolved, the approach usually shifts to longer term rehabilitation to strengthen your back and core to keep pain at bay and prevent recurrence.  If you need to schedule an appointment for JOI Rehab, call 904 858 7045.   To learn more about direct access to JOI Rehab, please read DIRECT ACCESS.

4. Manual Manipulation

Talk with a physician, chiropractor, or physical therapist about manual manipulation. One type of manual manipulation involves a high-velocity-low-amplitude (HVLA) force or to the area to shift pressure away from the affected nerve and provide a better healing environment. 

There are many types of manual manipulation available, including mobilization- which is a low force (no cracking or sudden movements)- and may be preferable to some individuals and/or more suitable for certain conditions.

5. Mindful Meditation

Mindful meditation may help reduce your symptoms and relieve your pain through focused breathing. For some individuals, meditation may reduce a dependence on medication over time. 

There are many approaches to meditation that can provide beneficial effects- and you may want to try a few to see what works best. It’s a myth that you must sit with your legs crossed and your back straight- you can meditate any way that you are comfortable, such as in your recliner if that’s what works for you. 

To schedule an appointment with JOI Rehab, please call 904-858-7045.

Related Articles: What is a pinched nerve in the lower back and herniated disc symptoms.

ByEhren Allen, DPT, COMT

The Jacksonville Orthopedic Institute Physicians and Physical Therapists can help you with your back pain.  To schedule an appointment with a JOI Spine Specialist, call (904)JOI-2000, schedule online, or click below.

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