Herniated Discs

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What is a Herniated Disc?

Interestingly, the medical community does not use a standardised term for this common spinal condition. So, if you’ve been told you have a herniated disc, a slipped disc, a prolapsed disc, a bulging disc, a ruptured disc or even degenerative disc disease, it is essentially used as herniated discmeaning the same thing. The terminology very much depends on the health professional you are talking to.

Does it really mean the same thing?

If you really want to be precise there are some differences. The terms herniated disc, ruptured discs and prolapsed disc describes the same condition.

They all refer to a problem with one of the rubbery cushions (discs) between the individual bones (vertebrae) that stack up to make your spine. A spinal disc is a little like a jelly doughnut, a softer center encased within a tougher exterior.

In other words a herniated or ruptured disc is a common condition that occurs when one of the intervertebral discs in the spine develops a crack in its hard outer wall, allowing the jellylike inner core to leak out into the 'foramen' (where the spinal nerve leaves the spine) or into the spinal canal.

On the other hand a slipped disc for example is a condition where the whole disc moves foreward or backwards, thus has become loose. This is a very rare condition.

And a bulging disc is when the outer wall bulges out, but the jellylike inner substance is not leaking through the outer wall as yet.

As you can see there are some important differences!

What Causes a Herniated Disc?

There are 2 common reasons for a disc to herniate, which are muscle imbalances and injury. Muscle imbalances cause over time the development of what I like to call “physical or postural dysfunctions.”

These dysfunctions put abnormal pressure on the disc that will cause intermittent micro trauma in the outer ring. This micro trauma causing scarring to built up, eventually will lead to the loss of the elasticity (amount the outer ring can stretch reduces). But it also causes increased wear and tear over time.

Ultimately, the weakened outer ring will either start to bulge or even worse rupture, with it the inner jellylike substance leaks out. This will make contact with the nerve, bringing you pain and pins & needles.

How Serious is a Herniated Disc?

When you suffer from a serious long term herniated disc you may also develop numbness in the leg or foot (if neck affected it will cause numbness arm or hand) and even weakness may be experienced.

The most important thing to understand about herniated discs is that, barring trauma, they do not happen overnight. You may be come symptomatic very quickly, but it takes a long time for conditions to be right for the nerve to be put under enough pressure to cause pain and other potential symptoms.

What are the Most Common Treatments for Herniated Discs?

Common treatments generally consist of self care and therapy. Most of these include medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or medical procedures like epidural steroidal injections, therapies like Physiotherapy, Chiropractic techniques and stretching exercises, therapeutic ultrasound or electrical stimulation, heating pads and occasionally spinal surgery.

There are a number of surgical procedures for a herniated disc, all of which have two main goals, to take pressure off the nerve and stabilize the facet (spinal) joints.

Why do Traditional Herniated Disc Treatments Fail?

Most traditional treatments fail because they simply address the symptoms, but do nothing to address the TRUE CAUSE of the condition. Your herniated disc is a physical problem, and thus requires a physical solution.

There are no pills or injections that can create postural balance in your spine & body, which is what is necessary to stop the ongoing incorrect stresses to be placed on the disc and thus reduce the pressure on the nerve.

What is the Best Treatment for Herniated Disc?

A herniated disc is a very complicated condition and most people get the best results when they combine multiple proven treatment approaches together. For example, Spinal Decompression using Inversion Therapy can be very effective but it works even better when you also perform Spinal Balance Therapy.

A ruptured disc is in my Clinic by far one of the most common conditions associated with chronic back pain. Over the years I have found that most people get the best results when they combine multiple treatment approaches together.

The first step is to make sure you empower yourself with the very best and most up to date information you can on the condition. But also you need to perform your own experimentation with what you can tolerate and what works best for you.

The second step is to find the best experts you can regarding the subject.

Having a thoroughly thought out and comprehensive plan to control Oxidation stress and Systemic Inflammation, is vitally important to first control pain. Some of the considerations here are to start with are natural remedies like drinking regular clean water, Proteolytic Enzymes Therapy, and changing your eating habits.

Learn to take time for your self and relax, with the use of far-infrared heat, it can help immensely, it is deep penetrating and dramatically improves the blood flow to the area in question for effective, quick relief and improved range of motion.

Also believing that you will achieve the comfort level you desire and having a spiritual guide can be the basics of your home program.

Every one with a Herniated Disc has Trigger Points and everyone should have a way to administer self Trigger Point Therapy on a daily basis. As soon as the pain allows this should be combined with Spinal Balance Therapy, which is a personalised series of exercises to restore balance and proper function of the muscles and joints.

Herniated Disc respond extremely well to most forms or spinal decompression. Inversion Therapy is a viable option for Herniated Disc sufferers and can be done in the comfort of your own home. It also has many other health benefits like improved circulation, stress reduction and improved range of motion.

Top 3 Proven Ways to Treat Herniated Discs (perform in the order mentioned):

1) Pain Relief - drink regular clean water, FAR Infrared Heat, Proteolytic Enzymes Therapy, Trigger Point Therapy and changing your eating habits.

2) Disc Healing - Spinal Decompression using Inversion Therapy

3) Prevention future episodes - Spinal Balance Therapy