A herniated disc is often caused by a muscular imbalance which puts an uneven strain on the spinal discs, causing one or many to bulge. Unfortunately, these are quite common and can often be disastrous to a workout plan. The goal should be to get yourself back to full strength as soon as possible, so a little time off doesn’t turn into another missed opportunity to get your health and fitness back on track.
While surgery may be required for some people, many people find pain relief using less invasive measures. As always, consult with your doctor.
Herniated discs occur from long term uneven pressure placed on the vertebrae as a result of poor posture caused by a muscle imbalance. Think of a water balloon. If you were to place a great deal of pressure on one side, and less on the other, the balloon is going to bulge at the opposite end of the pressure. If squeezed hard enough, the balloon will pop. If equal pressure were placed on both ends however, the balloon would stay intact.
When a muscular imbalance is present, poor hip and spine posture are often created as the vertebrae are forced to overcompensate for one side that is over-stressed. Over time, the disc will wear down, which leads to bulging, herniation, or a ruptured disc.
Some non-surgical treatments for a herniated disc are listed below.
1. Inflammation is decreased with an increase in fluid intake. Increase water intake, improve eating, and reduce excess fibrin with proteolytic enzymes whenever possible.
2. Use an inversion table. Inversion tables are the ones where you hang upside down by your feet. While they may look a little ridiculous, they work wonders at releasing pressure placed on a herniated disc.
3. Heat and cold therapy stop pain spasms, improve blood flow, and increase the range of motion. The best and safest type of heat therapy is Far Infrared Heat (FIR).
4. Stretching, as taught by yoga, is a great way to correct poor posture. Targeting the root cause of a herniated disc (muscular imbalance) is the ideal way to tackle the problem.
5. Exercise is another way to directly target the cause of a herniated disc. Improving muscular balance will help lessen the strain put on the disc, thereby alleviating symptoms.
6. Eliminating trigger points will help relieve referred pain.