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The worst part of a herniated disc for most people is the severe pain that can accompany the condition. Not only does pain radiate throughout the herniated disc, but spiking pain can shoot through the spine and the muscles of the back. Additionally, nerves pinched by the herniated disc can cause pain in the arms, legs, neck, shoulders, or head. Thankfully, you have many options, both traditional and alternative, for pain management of a herniated disc.
Medication is often the first line of defense pursued by patients of a herniated disc. Anti-inflammatory medications are often prescribed as a first choice by doctors. These medications will reduce the swelling in the herniated disc, which also reduces the pain caused by the condition. Other pain medication such as Tylenol or Aleve may be prescribed in higher doses than can be found over the counter.
In extreme cases, narcotic pain killers might be prescribed by your doctor. These are not often prescribed without trying other medication first, because they can be highly addictive when taken over a long period of time. If all else fails, steroid injections may also be prescribed by your physician.
The first assumption in pain management for any disorder, herniated disc included, is that medication is the answer. This is also, unfortunately, the first conclusion that doctors reach as well as the patients. Keep in mind, however, that there are many other, safer and less addictive ways to manage your pain from a herniated disc.
There are many over the counter and prescribed topical applications that can be used for pain management of a herniated disc. Some of these topical treatments will be oils or creams that are rubbed into the affected area to soothe the muscles of the back and reduce swelling in the herniated disc. Other topical treatments emit heat into the back through a patch, which also helps to reduce the swelling that causes back pain.
Herbals for Pain Management
In addition to medications and topical applications prescribed or recommended by your physician for pain management of a herniated disc there are some very good herbals that can be used for this purpose. Herbal pain management is becoming more popular in recent years, as people realize that herbals do not hold the side effects and dangers of prescribed medications. Additionally, they often work as well if not better for managing pain from a herniated disc.
Oil of wintergreen is a great topical treatment that will warm the affected area, reduce swelling in the herniated disc, and offer some pain relief. Another great herbal that you can use is Chamomile or willow saffron, both of which are great muscle relaxers and pain management tools for the patient with a herniated disc. You can find herbal treatments and get more information about what will be effective in your pain management of your herniated disc by visiting your local herbalist or herbal supply shop.
There are other alternative treatments that are often used successfully when trying to manage pain from a herniated disc. The most successful and often used alternative treatment for this condition is acupuncture. This is an ancient Chinese procedure in which needles are placed in pressure points, or major nerves and arteries, of the body. When done correctly, endorphins are released into the body which ease pain of all types.