Herniated disc or slipped disc is a problem related with the cushions-like spines present between the vertebrae. The human spinal disc is similar to a jelly donut that has a tough exterior, but contains a very soft center. When a crack forms on the surface of the spinal disc, the soft jelly oozes out and aggravates the nerves around the spine causing severe pain and discomfort in arms and legs. While medications and therapies can provide relief to many patients, others with severe pain may undertake surgery.
Many patients are unaware about the problem of slipped disc, until they get an x-ray of the lumbar and cervical spine. To discover this disease in early stage, look out some of the symptoms of herniated disc.
- The muscles surrounding the nerves become feeble, which makes it difficult to carry heavy items.
- Lumbar herniated disc (pain in the lower back) will usually lead to unbearable pain in the calf, legs, buttocks, and thighs.
- Cervical herniated disc (pain in the neck) causes severe pain in the arms and shoulders.
- You also experience numbness in the arms, chest, and legs.
- Pain while bending forward or twisting.
Once you diagnose the problem of herniated disc, it is imperative to seek medical advice.Throughadvanced diagnostic techniques, you will definitively get some relief. Getting rid of herniated disc is a bit tricky question; however, using the home remedies mentioned below can help you to a greater extent.
Home Remedies for Herniated Disc
Walking is the best form of exercise regardless of whether you suffer from herniated disc or not. Find a flat surface and walk for around 10 – 20 minutes after every 3 hours. Remember not to push yourself too much especially if you have pain in the legs.
2. Heat and Cold Therapy
Use a heat or cold pad in alternation. In order to reduce inflammation, it is advisable to apply a cold pad for the first few days, and later, switch to the heat pack. You can heat a pad by placing it in the microwave for around 15 minutes. Further, apply it on the affected area after every 2 to 3 hours.
Take complete rest but do not sleep in the same position for a long time. People with slipped disc find sleeping on a flat surface, such as a floor or a firm bed with small pillows underneath the knees, pretty comfortable. It would be better to change positions after a while. Never sleep on your stomach, if you suffer from herniated disc.
4. Physiotherapy and Yoga
Physiotherapy is an excellent way to get relief from pain associated with lower back. Therapists will teach you the proper way of lifting, walking and performing day to day activities. You can also ask your physician to show you some basic stretching exercises that strengthens the muscles and support your spine. Besides, it makes your legs and spine more flexible than ever. Alternatively, performing yoga under supervision may fasten the healing process.
Turmeric has an active compound called curcumin that is an excellent antioxidant and possesses anti-inflammatory effects. It helps prevent the jelly-like liquid from leaking. This spice is not only available in a powdered form, but capsules and tablets are also accessible. It also gives antihistamine effects on the body, as it reduces blood flow to those body parts that experiences pain caused by ruptured disc.
6. Dimethyl Sulfoxide (DMSO)
Try using dimethyl sulfoxide for alleviating the pain of slipped disc. The colorless liquid is made up of organic sulfur that helps in generating new cells and detoxifies the body as well.
A complete massage will pressurize certain points of your body and helps relieve even chronic pain, when taken on a regular basis. It incorporates kneading, stroking, and manipulation of the back tissues, which, in turn, increases the movement of blood flow. It also enhances the absorption of nutrient and oxygen by the cells of your body.
8. Acupressure and Acupuncture
Both acupressure and acupuncture are slightly different ancient techniques of alleviating pain. In the first one finger, hands and elbows are used, while the other method uses needles for curing pain. You will need an experienced practitioner, who can perform these techniques.
Note: Not recommended for high BP patients and pregnant women.
Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulations (TENS) is an excellent form of home treatment for herniated disc. A low-voltage electrical current is used on the affected areas, which helps body to release a liquid called endorphin- a natural painkiller.
10. Inversion Therapy
Inversion therapy is a great way of taking away the pressure from the nerve roots with the help of gravity. It is a spinal traction technique that increases the inter-vertebral space. You have to purchase an inversion table for performing this therapy. Alternatively, you can use a stabilizing frame.
Note: Avoid using an inversion table, if you have heart disease, glaucoma, high blood pressure, and if you are pregnant.
11. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne pepper is an effective natural ingredient for healing herniated disc. Either apply a paste made from cayenne pepper and water on the affected area, or brew a cayenne pepper tea once during the day.
12. Relax Your Muscles
Lie down flat on the floor. Lift your legs and place a ball or stool underneath your lower legs, so that your legs bend at the knees. Now, remain in the same position for 30 minutes. Do this at least twice a day.
13. Select the Right Mattress
Majority of back problems occur because of sleeping on a hard or old mattress. To get relief from back pain, you must sleep on a mattress that can support your entire body, especially the hips, shoulders, and legs. In case, if you sleep on a spring bed, you must place a hard board between the mattresses on the bed for firmness.
14. Eat and Drink Right
Drink plenty of water and consume a healthy diet to keep several ailments at bay. Your eating habits and daily lifestyle majorly affect your body. Increase the intake of fiber rich and fat free foods, and also avoid dairy products and meat, until you feel better.
15. Epsom Salt
It is one of the most reasonable and effective pain healers. Simply add 1-4 cups of Epsom salt in a bath tub. Fill it with lukewarm water. Now, sink in it for a couple of minutes. It will give you ultimate relaxation.
- If you are diabetic, pregnant, or allergic to sulfur, consult your doctor before using it.
- If you are taking anti-anxiety medication, muscle relaxers, or sleeping pills, take someone with you during this process.
Herbal Remedies for Herniated Disc
16. Horsetail Decoction
Horsetail is a high mineral herb that nourishes our tissues. A decoction prepared from this herb can heal the broken bones and ligament injuries. Simply, add 1 ounce of fresh horsetail leaves to 24 ounces of cold water, and simmer until it reduces to about 16 ounces. Allow the liquid to cool before you strain it. Drink about 5 to 10 ml of the liquid at least 4 times a day.
17. California Poppy
The anti-inflammatory and analgesic nature of this herb makes it beneficial for the treatment of herniated disc. Crush some fresh leaves or poppy seeds and apply the paste on the affected areas.
18. White Willow Bark
The bark of white willow is commonly used for reducing the discomfort associated with herniated disc. The chemical structure of this herb is much similar to aspirin; however, it will not irritate your stomach. The analgesics, anti-stringent and anti-inflammatory properties of this herb help reduce the pain.
Note: Take advice from your doctor before using any of the white willow products.
19. Comfrey Leaves
The leaves of comfrey help healing the bones and connective tissue. Simply add either one pound of fresh or 6 pounds of dried leaves in five 5 quarts of cold water. Leave it for 12 hours. Later, heat the solution, and add it to the bath water after straining. It is an easy and effective home remedy for reducing the pain associated with slipped disc.
Note: It should not be consumed orally, as the harmful alkaloids in these leaves may cause damage to your liver.
Boswellia is an organic painkiller that effectively treats the problem of herniated disc.
Research shows that it has anti-inflammatory properties that can cure osteoarthritis.
21. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 fatty acid controls the level of inflammation and lessens the pain associated with herniated disc. Several studies have shown that body utilizes the collagen formed by this acid in repairing the damaged discs.
Colchicines are extracted from corns and dry seeds that are found in the autumn crocus flowers. A pale colored powder is obtained by crushing these seeds that have anti-inflammatory properties. Hence, it helps curing the slipped disc.
The antioxidants present in burdock detoxify the body from harmful radicals that are responsible for increasing the inflammation and swelling in your back. It is also recommended for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Besides, it cures scalp rashes.
24. St. John’s Wort
This herb is loaded with several therapeutic properties, such as antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antidepressant and antibacterial. Hyperforin, a component present in this herb, effectively fights inflammation and relieves body from back pain.
Passionflower contains essential oils that help reduce the muscle spasms in back and neck. It reduces the symptoms of inflammation. Take capsules that contain passionflower extracts, but, first consult your doctor.
However, if none of the above home remedies work, it would be better to seek medical advice, and consume some anti-inflammatory drugs that may reduce the pain. Even though, the symptoms persist, you may have to undergo a surgery.
- Shed some pounds if you are overweight.
- Exercise on a regular basis.
- Use proper lifting techniques.
- Give up smoking.
- Pay attention to your posture while standing, sleeping, walking and sitting.
- Opt for soft and flat shoes.
- Avoid lifting heavy weights.
- Avoid wearing heels.
- Say “NO” to junk food.
- Refrain from quick twists and jerks.