Collapsed Disc in the Office
Treating your neck or back pain from a collapsed disc can be much more difficult at the office than it is from the comforts of your home. When you’re at home, it’s much easier to move around when your neck or back gets stiff, take prescription medication as needed or prop yourself on the couch with an icepack for a couple of hours. At the office, on the other hand, managing pain can be a little trickier, although this is not to say that there aren’t steps you can take to treat your discomfort from the cubicle.
What is a collapsed disc?
To understand how to best treat a collapsed disc requires a basic understanding of what a collapsed disc is, what caused the condition and what the goals of treatment are. In general terms, a collapsed disc refers to an intervertebral disc that has lost its disc height. When this happens, disc material or the lining of the disc can extrude into the spinal column and may cause painful nerve compression. It is this nerve compression that leads to a patient’s symptoms.
Tips for treating pain
If you are experiencing the symptoms of a collapsed disc while working, there are a number of steps you can take throughout your day to limit the discomfort you are feeling. Some examples include:
- Take mini-breaks – If possible, take frequent, quick breaks throughout your day to keep from becoming sedentary. Taking a walk to the water cooler or down the hall can make a significant difference.
- Practice good posture – By keeping your feet flat, your knees in front, your chin level and your shoulders back, you take pressure off the spinal canal and can limit pain.
- Avoid work-related stress – If you are feeling overwhelmed or overworked take a moment to step away. Practice breathing exercises or anything else to release tension.
- Ask your physician about medication – Often there are over-the-counter or low-dose medications that can alleviate pain, muscle tightness and swelling without causing drowsiness.
Chronic neck and back pain can have a real effect on your quality of life. If after several weeks of conservative treatment you continue to experience symptoms, contact Laser Spine Institute to learn about our numerous minimally invasive spine procedures.