Herniated discs in the neck can cause a lot of pain and discomfort. But with the right treatment, you can get relief from your symptoms and improve your quality of life.
- 1 How to Help a Herniated Disc
- 2 What Exactly is a Herniated Disc
- 3 Relief Options
- 4 Neck Exercises to Relieve Herniated Disc Pain
- 5 Neck Stretches to Relieve Herniated Disc Pain
- 6 How Inversion Therapy Helps a Herniated Disc
- 7 Frequently Asked Questions
- 8 Conclusion
How to Help a Herniated Disc
If you or someone you love is dealing with a herniated disc, you know how painful and difficult it can be. This condition is a high priority for anyone suffering from it, and thankfully there is a natural, noninvasive option that has been shown to be effective in numerous studies: inversion therapy.
Inversion therapy is a decompression technique that involves hanging upside down by your ankles or using an FDA-registered k medical device to achieve the same results. You can do this at home or at a clinic, and it has been shown to be an effective treatment for herniated discs and other disc-related conditions. If you are suffering from a herniated disc, don’t wait any longer to try inversion therapy. It may just be the relief you’ve been looking for.
What Exactly is a Herniated Disc
There are bones (vertebrae) that form a column along your spine. These vertebrae are separated by spongy, somewhat pliant discs. These discs provide shock absorption and space for the nerves that come off the spinal cord between each bone. When a disc herniates, the squishy center leaks out and puts pressure on the nerves in the spine causing inflammation and numbness.
Herniated discs can be found in any area of the spine, but they are most common in the cervical (neck) and lumbar (lower back) regions. Occasionally, patients will have more than one herniated disc.
While herniated discs can cause severe pain and may require surgery, many patients find relief with conservative (non-surgical) treatments. These options include medications, physical therapy, and alternative methods such as massage.
A number of recent studies have shown that herniated disc patients who receive conservative therapy first are less likely to eventually need surgery than those who go straight to surgery. In a preliminary study of disc patients in the UK, researchers found that those who received conservative therapy were recommended for surgery less often than those who did not receive conservative therapy.
In a pure single-level discogenic pilot randomized trial in Newcastle upon Tyne UK, it was demonstrated that a greater number of patients responded better to initial conservative therapy rather than aggressive measures such as surgery. The study showed that among herniated disc patients, those who received conservative therapy first were less likely to eventually need surgery than those who did not receive conservative therapy.
These studies suggest that for most herniated disc patients, conservative measures such as medications, physical therapy, and massage are the best first line of treatment. Surgery should be reserved for cases where these more conservative methods do not provide relief.
Neck Exercises to Relieve Herniated Disc Pain
One type of conservative treatment for a herniated disc in the neck is neck exercises. These exercises gently stretch and strengthen the muscles in the neck to help support the spine and take pressure off of the disc.
Start by sitting up straight with your shoulders down and your chin level. Slowly press your head back, bringing your shoulders with you. Sit up as tall as you can, then gently bend your elbows and tuck your chin so that you’re looking at the ceiling. Hold this position for 5 seconds, then relax.
Next, do a neck retraction by sitting up straight and bringing your shoulders back. Gently lower your chin toward your chest, then return to the starting position. Repeat this 10 times.
After that, do a shoulder retraction by sitting up tall and pinching your shoulder blades together. Gently lower your arms down to your sides, then return to the starting position. Repeat this 10 times.
To do a chin tuck, sit up straight and gently push your head backward so that you make a double chin. Tuck your chin so that you’re looking at the ceiling, then return to the starting position. Repeat this 10 times.
Finally, do a neck extension by sitting up straight and tilting your head back so that you’re looking at the ceiling. Gently bring your head back to the starting position, then repeat this 10 times
Neck Stretches to Relieve Herniated Disc Pain
Herniated discs in the neck can be very painful. Thankfully, there are neck stretches you can do at home to help ease the discomfort.
First, start by sitting up straight with your shoulders back. Then, tilt your head slightly backward and move your shoulder blades together. Next, rotate your neck to the right, then to the left. Finally, laterally bend your neck to the right, then to the left. Do each stretch slowly and carefully. If you feel any pain, stop immediately.
To stretch the scalene muscles, which run from the back of your neck up to your shoulder, grasp your left hand with your right hand and pull it towards the right side of your body. Hold for 30 seconds, then repeat on the other side. If you feel any pain, stop immediately.
How Inversion Therapy Helps a Herniated Disc
Inversion therapy is one of the most hotly debated ideas in the world of spine care. Proponents of the therapy say that suspending a person upside down can take pressure off of discs and other spinal structures. The theory is that by reversing the force of gravity, inversion therapy may actually create a suction effect that takes the pressure off of the disc, allowing it to heal properly.
To test this theory, researchers divided patients with herniated discs into two groups: a routine physiotherapy group and an experimental group that would receive inversion therapy. The experimental group was given inversion therapy using a teeter inversion table for three minutes, three times per day. After two weeks, both groups were reassessed.
The results showed that the inversion therapy group had significantly decreased pain levels and improved functioning when compared to the physiotherapy group. In addition, the researchers found that the inversion therapy group required less medication than the physiotherapy group.
based on these findings, it appears that inversion therapy may be an effective treatment for herniated discs. If you are considering this treatment option, be sure to consult with your doctor first to see if it is right for you.
Frequently Asked Questions
A herniated disc in the neck can heal on its own, but it may take several months. The disc may need to be removed if it does not heal on its own.
A herniated disc in the neck can be serious because it can put pressure on the spinal cord.
A herniated disc in the neck can take weeks or even months to heal.
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In conclusion, it is important to note that this was a controlled trial comparing the use of a cervical collar to inversion therapy and physical therapy in the treatment of herniated discs in the neck. The study found that there was no significant difference between the three groups in terms of pain relief and function at the end of the 6-week follow-up period.
However, the study did find that the physical therapy group had significantly positive results at the 3-week and 6-week follow-up periods compared to the other two groups. This study provides little doubt that active treatment, such as physical therapy, is superior to passive treatment, such as a cervical collar or inversion tables, in the treatment of herniated discs in the neck.
Alan Walker is an author, researcher, and contributing writer at Spine Institute NY. He is a typical introvert, coffee fanatic, and freelancer.”