Are you one of the thousands of people in the UK whose Easter will be blighted by back pain or neck pain caused by a herniated disc (‘slipped’ disc)? If so, read on for more details about herniated disc treatment …
Everyone knows someone who suffers with their back. After all, back pain is the second most popular reason for visiting the GP after the common cold.
Back pain comes in many guises but a herniated, prolapsed or ‘slipped disc’ can result in intense pain and when unresolved, can be one of the most difficult types of back pain to relieve.
Slipped discs do not just happen to people who do manual work involving heavy lifting: a disc can become prolapsed simply by bending down to pick up a pen from the floor or by climbing the stairs to bed!
The spine is made up of 24 individual bones called vertebrae which are stacked on top of each other. Discs are the protective circular pads of connective tissue in between – the ‘shock absorbers’ which protect the spine when we run or jump.
We cause small weaknesses in our spine all day long such as prolonged sitting or standing in certain positions, for example at workstations or hunched over the ironing board. If we then make a slightly awkward movement, it is possible to rupture the outer casing of the disc and the gel inside to bulge outwards – rather like a jam doughnut being squeezed!
Disc problems can also cause pain in other areas of the body, the most common of which is sciatica, a grinding pain which travels down the length of the leg. Neck pain, headaches or numbness in the foot can also be a sign of a damaged disc. So, what are your options for treatment?
Your first port of call should always be a good osteopath, chiropractor or physiotherapist who will have experience in disc-related problems. With this type of manual therapy, you should see a marked improvement in you condition in 6-8 weeks. At the same time, if you are in so much pain that you can’t sleep then your GP can prescribe you painkillers and/or anti-inflammatory medicines which can be taken alongside treatment.
If you are no better after 8 weeks of manual therapy, it can be advisable to get an MRI scan of your spine to confirm the nature of the injury or damage to the disc.
Before the stage of invasive treatments such as spinal injections, steroids or even surgery, IDD Therapy spinal decompression is used by clinicians of different backgrounds to provide targeted treatment for disc-related problems (as well as other chronic back pain and neck pain conditions).
Developed in the USA to address the shortcomings of traction, IDD Therapy involves the gentle ‘distraction’ (drawing apart) of specific spinal segments where discs are damaged or herniated (bulging).
The treatment uses computerised pulling forces to gently relieve pressure on the discs and any trapped nerves. Whilst doing so it also works the muscles, helping to get more movement into the joints. Coupled with rehabilitation exercises, IDD Therapy can offer lasting pain relief.
66 year old June from Sussex suffered for 20 years after injuring her back whilst lifting people in her job as a carer. She says:
“This time last year I couldn’t do anything at home; gardening, swimming and even household chores such as ironing would cause me terrible pain which also brought on bad headaches.
IDD has been fantastic for me; I’m swimming and gardening again, going for walks with my husband and doing my usual daily chores with ease now.”
If IDD Therapy is not a suitable option for your condition and your pain is signifcantly impacting on your life then you may need to talk to a surgeon or pain consultant. Whatever your condition, it is always advisable to obtain a second opinion before you undertake certain procedures.
For more details about IDD Therapy treatment and to get a patient information leaflet, visit www.IDDTherapy.eu