There are many ways of treating an intervertebral disc prolapse/herniation. It is generally accepted that during the first six weeks of experiencing symptoms, a conservative osteopathic approach to treatment is followed.
This may include a combination of manual therapies, including spinal manipulation, and exercise. Movement early on is equally pivotal in the recovery from a disc prolapse, so don’t spend all day sitting or laying down through fear of making things worse!
Gentle movements are definitely the way forward. Your osteopath may also prescribe some spinal flexibility and strengthening exercises once initial symptoms calm down. If symptoms are severe or persist beyond six weeks, then surgery may be discussed with a specialist, such as an orthopaedic surgeon.
There has been, and continues to be, much debate over which form of treatment is most beneficial for disc prolapses. This research paper suggests spinal manipulation seems to be more effective at relieving local or radiating pain in people with acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion, compared to sham manipulation.
Your osteopath may apply gentle traction and decompression to the affected area, improving blood flow and reducing the inflammation. They may also employ gentle massage and mobilisation techniques, reducing muscle spasm and improving the range of movement of the affected area, thereby facilitating the body’s own healing and resolution of the problem.
Your osteopath will also advise on exercises to facilitate the healing process and reduce the likelihood of the incident reoccurring. As far as we know, according to the same research paper mentioned above, there is little evidence to suggest that drug treatments are effective in treating herniated disc – so osteopathy is your best bet in alleviating the pain!
Think we could help you? Contact us now on 01722 512 043 to book an appointment – correct diagnosis and treatment can dramatically improve recovery, and help prevent re-injury, don’t hesitate to get in touch.