What is a Herniated Disk?

Painful and sudden, a herniated disc can interrupt life and daily activities out of nowhere. The spinal column is made up of stacked bones and filled in between each one is a rubbery disc. When one of these discs bulges in the cervical spine or lumbar spine, it results in sudden, acute pain and is referred to as a herniated disc. For an analogy, discs are likened to a jelly donut: if you squished the donut too much the jelly gets pushed to either or both sides resulting in pressure on the exterior disc, possibly even leading to breakage of the exterior. The constant pressure and pain from a herniated disc can also lead to numbness, headaches, or muscle weakness.

Download these PDFs to learn more about herniated disc prevention and treatment!

Manage the pain of a herniated disc with these tips:

  • Ice Immediately, then Use Heat
    As soon as you begin having pain, apply ice to reduce swelling a few times a day. After one-two days of ice, heat is a great way to reduce inflammation to the cervical or lumbar spine’s affected area.
  • Avoid Inactivity
    Rest is good but too much rest can be bad for your back and neck. Try to change positions and move around every 30 minutes.
  • Stretch
    Some patients find relief from simple at home stretches to relieve pain.
  • Sleep Well
    Prop your body with pillows to keep a proper posture while sleeping.
  • Wear Supportive Shoes
    Avoid wearing high heels or shoes without any support as you move throughout the day.
  • Watch Your Posture
    Keep your back straight and avoid sudden twists and turns to minimize pain to the cervical or lumbar spine.
  • Avoid Repetitive Motion
    Repeating the same motions can increase your pain, or aggravate your injury.
  • Be Careful
    Remember that you do have an injury, so don’t overexert yourself. Get rest and avoid activities that could worsen the injury.
  • See a Top Doc at First State Spine
    If you suspect that your pain could be a herniated cervical or lumbar spine disc, stop suffering and see one of the Top Docs at First State Spine. We offer conservative and innovative treatment options to treat individuals with a herniated disc.

It’s time to get a handle on your spine health and live free of pain! However, always check with your physician to see if these tips are safe to follow based on your health history.

If you have back pain or back problems, make an appointment with one of First State Spine’s specialists.