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Many patients of a herniated disc undergo a number of various treatments and combinations of treatments as they recover from a herniated disc. These treatments may include physical therapy and medications. However, some people feel more comfortable being treated for their pain and swelling caused by the herniated disc within their own homes. There are many ways that you can move treatment to the home, without any major or minor repercussions.
The nature of a herniated disc makes it difficult to treat by the patient alone, because the back is hard to reach for many patients. Many of the home treatments for a herniated disc will still require the help of some type of care giver or companion. However, this person need not be medically trained or certified. However, if you do not have someone to help you or if your condition becomes worse you may need to seek professional medical assistance with the herniated disc.
The first issue usually addressed by any treatment, including home treatment, of a herniated disc is pain management. Pain management involves treating not only the pain but also the swelling of the disc and back muscles that cause the pain. There are many treatments that you can do at home to meet these goals.
Massage therapy is one of the best ways to reduce pressure and swelling in the area of the herniated disc. This will help to relieve some of the pain, as well as take pressure off of the other discs in the spine. Massaging with oil of wintergreen can further soothe the muscles and reduce the swelling of the herniated disc. Hot and cold compresses can also be used in conjunction with the massage therapy.
If medication is required for pain management, you may seek the advice and prescription from a health professional for a prescribed pain medication. However, if you do not wish to take these high power pain killers, you may wish to use over the counter medications instead. Ibuprofen is the best medication for this purpose, as it will not only ease pain but also reduce swelling. It is generally safe to take as much as 1600 milligrams of ibuprofen every six to eight hours. However, you should discuss possible side effects with your physician before taking these high dosages.
The other main goal of home treatment for a herniated disc is to strengthen the back muscles and try to prevent further injuries or recurrences of the herniated disc. Exercises developed especially for strengthening back muscles will be the best way to meet this goal. You can easily find exercises for this purpose on the internet, or through your local doctor’s office or chiropractor. For most exercises you will need an exercise ball, and you may wish to get some small one pound hand weights as well.
In the end, home treatment of a herniated disc is perfectly acceptable in most cases. If you do not feel that your back is getting better, or if you do not feel comfortable with treatment without a medical professional, you may wish to pursue other options with your doctor. These options may include physical therapy or prescribed medications.