The amount of suffering that you can experience from a herniated disc can range from slight discomfort to unbearable pain. Regardless of where you fall on the scale, the idea of surgery can often seem a bit intimidating. While in some cases, back surgery can be done using minimally invasive techniques, there is always a chance of something going terribly wrong. There is also a possibility that the surgery can wind up being ineffective. Fortunately, if you are either too afraid or not financially able to go through with such procedures, there are several natural alternatives that you can try instead.
Alternative Treatment Benefits
Some alternative back therapies are recognized by the medical community while others are not. However, there are benefits that come with looking into all types including:
Low or no risk of side effects or further injury
More cost effective than back surgery
Can often be utilized at home
Whether you decide to try a wide range of these techniques or just a few is entirely up to you. However, in every case, taking the time to look into alternative remedies will help you to gather a broader scope of the many ways that you can combat your herniated disc problem.
While you might think that the idea of natural or alternative remedies for herniated disc problems starts and stops with exercise (which will be discussed a little later), the truth is that herbal remedies remain one of the most popular therapies of an alternative nature for back issues today. The main reason for this is because using dietary supplements, vitamins, and herbs will always help to improve your overall health, even if they have negligible effect on your disc pain. A few examples include:
St. John’s wort, which can relieve neurological issues
Slippery elm, which can reduce inflammation
White willow, which can relieve pain
Just remember to consult a doctor or nutritionist before starting an herbal treatment for your disc issues. just about every herbal supplement out there has known drug interactions and in rare cases, you could have an allergy issue.
The use of alternating heating pads and cold compresses is another great natural therapy that you can implement from the comfort of your home without having to worry about consulting a physician or worrying about side effects. A cold compress applied directly to the area of your herniated disc will numb the pain and bring down any inflammation. A heating pad will also offer some relief while increasing blood circulation to the afflicted area, helping to naturally improve the condition of the problematic disc.
Using exercise to combat a herniated disc can be a very powerful tool, if it is done correctly. While you will need to be very careful with the types of physical activities that you participate in, you can expect to see some results without a lot of risk from:
Simple stretching to gain flexibility
Pilates to strengthen your core (back and abdomen) and reduce pain
Yoga to tone muscles and reduce tension
Remember that with any exercise comes risk. You do not want to make your herniated disc worse, which is why you should consult a physician or personal trainer about your regimen first.
Where to Get Help
What kind of alternative treatments might you consider? The Illinois Back Institute has extensive experience with treating all sorts of back pain including stenosis, sciatica, herniated, and bulging discs. For more information regarding the alternative treatments that may resolve your lower back pain, simply request a free back consultation.