A herniated disk, also known as a pinched nerve, can cause myriad painful symptoms dependent on where in the spine the disk is located. Most patients experience some degree of leg and foot pain. Dealing with a herniated disk is uncomfortable and can be difficult, and requires treatment from a medical practitioner. However, there are several things you can do at home that will help soothe and reduce the pain until the treatment is completed.
1. Temperature Therapy
Using heat therapy to help soothe and treat a herniated disk is one of the most common and effective methods of home treatment. Apply a heating pack to your lower back at intervals throughout the day. If this proves inneffective, look into other options, such as a heat wrap that provides low heat throughout the day, or a warm whirlpool bath at the end of the day. You may have to test several different options before finding what works for you, but you should ultimately find some relief.
2. Correct Posture
Speak with a doctor or physical therapist regarding easy, gentle stretches that can be performed at home to help correct your posture. One of the reasons discs herniate in the first place can be related to poor or incorrect posture. These stretches will help relieve pain in the meantime, and, if continued, can help prevent further incident.
3. Mindful Meditation
“Mindful Meditation” has been shown to improve symptoms of herniated discs in lots of patients. While it might not seem like this is an option for you, meditation can be performed in whichever environment you are comfortable with, and centralizes around breathing patterns to eliminate pain. Not only will this help lessen your pain, it can help prevent and eliminate a dependency on medication over time.
4. See a Doctor
Too many people ignore back and leg pain because it seems like the kind of thing that will just go away on its own. This can lead to a reliance on pain medications, further injury, and a lessened quality of life. Herniated discs can truly only be fully treated and diagnosed by a doctor, who will be able to refer you to a physical therapist and who will be there every step of the way in managing your pain symptoms.
Dealing with a herniated disc can feel like an uphill battle at times, and there may be days where it seems like it will never get better. However, by following these tips to help reduce pain and through working closely with your doctor, your pain will be reduced, and eventually, will be gone.