Herniated Disc Treatment

Any disc in the entire spine can prolapse or burst, the most common ones to which this happens are the lowest two, which is between the fourth and fifth lumbar vertebrae and between the fifth lumbar and the top of the sacrum, as the stresses experienced by the spine are the greatest at these levels.

prolapsed intervertebral disc

Because the discs themselves have virtually no nerve supply, it is only when a disc prolapses and presses onto a nerve or some other vulnerable part of the spine, the pain will be noticed.

Sciatic Pain is usually caused when a herniated disc or bone spur in the spine presses on the nerve.Pain originates in the spine and radiates down the back of the leg. Sciatica typically affects only one side of the body.

A ‘slipped’ (prolapsed) disc often causes severe lower back pain. The disc often presses on a nerve root ( usually sciatic nerve ) which can cause pain and other symptoms in a leg. In most cases, the symptoms ease off gradually over several weeks. The usual advice is to do normal activities as much as possible. Painkillers may help. Physical treatments such as spinal manipulation may also help. Surgery may be an option if the symptoms persist.

It is not clear why some people develop a ‘slipped’ (prolapsed) disc and not others, even when they do the same job or lift the same sort of objects. It seems that some people may have a weakness in the outer part of the affected disc.

Various things may trigger the inner softer part of the disc to prolapse out through the weakened outer part of the disc. For example, sneezing, awkward bending, or heavy lifting in an awkward position may cause some extra pressure on the disc. In people with a weakness in a disc, this may be sufficient to cause a prolapse. Factors that may increase the risk of developing a prolapsed disc include:

  • A job involving lots of lifting.
  • A job involving lots of sitting (especially driving).
  • Weight-bearing sports (weightlifting, etc).
  • Smoking.
  • Being overweight (obesity).
  • Increasing age (a disc is more likely to develop a weakness with increasing age).

Herniated disc often causes severe Lower back pain.The back pain caused by prolapsed disc tends to be deep, dull and persistent and it may radiate into all sorts of unexpected places. For example, a prolapsed disc in the lower back may produce pain in several places such as the buttocks, hip, groin or legs. Some people find that these pains are worse if they bend in one particular way. Others find that their pains become unbearable if they stand straight. And it isn’t uncommon for people to complain that their pain is worse when they sneeze, cough or laugh.

Treatments for damaged disc (Mamsa Bhagna), inflammation reduction (Vathahara), pain reduction (Vedanahara) and recurrence prevention are some of the treatments offered in Ayurveda.

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