A lumbar discectomy is performed when a herniated disc needs to be removed. The procedure involves removing the damaged disc, and then replacing it with an artificial disc, sometimes in a second procedure.
The patient is generally only required to stay in the hospital overnight, but they can’t drive for a week or two, and shouldn’t lift anything for 4 to 6 weeks afterwards. Complications can include reactions to anesthesia, blood clots, infection, nerve damage, and ongoing pain to name a few. It can also be a fairly expensive road, especially if your insurance will only cover a portion of the procedure.
For most back pain and herniated disc sufferers, a lumbar discectomy is a last resort. One thing you might try before going under the knife is inversion therapy. A recent study showed that 70% of patients that tried inversion therapy were able to cancel their surgery. The therapy involves getting strapped into an inversion table, then flipping your body upside down. This allows gravity to help your spine naturally realign itself, and relieves pressure on your herniated disc. You can either go to a specialist for this, or try it in the privacy of your own home. The Healthy Back Institute has a variety of inversion tables available, and even offers free shipping to customers in the U.S. (excluding Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico). Visit losethebackpain.com to browse their selection of inversion therapy tables.
Surprisingly, exercise can also help a herniated disc. Although exercise may seem counterproductive when your first instinct is to rest the area, exercise can actually help strengthen your back and prevent future injuries. Focus on light, low impact exercises, like walking, swimming and yoga. These will all help strengthen your core and better support your body from within, not only healing the herniated disc you have, but preventing one from happening down the road.
Acupuncture can also help relieve pain from a herniated disc. Although it wasn’t widely accepted in the past, recent studies are showing that acupuncture is in fact a proven method of relieving pain, particularly back pain. It’s thought to release helpful endorphins, but scientists aren’t quite sure just yet. The Chinese believe acupuncture helps to restore the body’s natural flow of Chi. See, a stagnant Chi (or energy) results in pain and is unhealthy for the body. Inserting dozens of thin needles – the process of acupuncture – is an effective way to get the Chi up and running again, or so the Chinese believe. Regardless of who is right it is a scientifically proven way to get rid of pain.
Similarly, you can also try getting massages to help relieve the pain from a herniated disc. This will help increase oxygen rich blood flow to the area to help speed the healing process. It will also help relax tense muscles that might be putting pressure on sensitive areas in the back, bringing you fast pain relief.
The Healthy Back Institute specializes in the latest natural techniques for relieving back pain, and helping herniated discs heal. If you would like to avoid a lumbar discectomy, visit losethebackpain.com today and find out more.
Written By: Updated: June 29,2011