Finding disc pain relief through stretching
For many patients, disc pain is caused by a degenerative disc disease that gradually develops with the natural aging of the spine.
Because of the slow development of a damaged disc, the symptoms of pain and discomfort often begin mildly and gradually worsen over time. For this reason, it is important to understand the symptoms of a damaged disc so you can identify your pain and begin at-home therapies to reduce your symptoms and help avoid spine surgery and more invasive treatments.
The most common symptoms associated with a damaged disc in the spine are pain at the location of the pinched nerve, as well as pain, numbness and/or tingling that travels into the nearby extremity. These symptoms occur when the damaged disc touches a nerve root and the pain travels the nerve pathway from the spine to other areas of the body, like the arms and legs.
At-home treatments for disc pain
One of the best treatments for disc pain relief is stretching the muscles, tendons and ligaments in the areas of the body associated with symptoms — especially the back, but also the shoulders, arms, legs and buttocks.
If you have been diagnosed with a herniated or bulging disc, you should always consult with a physician before beginning a new exercise regimen. A physical therapist can help you develop a stretching routine geared toward managing your specific symptoms. In general, stretching is intended to improve flexibility by mobilizing the spine and its associated soft tissues. Here are a few tips to remember when you begin a stretching program for disc pain relief:
- Wear clothing that allows freedom of movement.
- Don’t overdo it — stretching shouldn’t hurt or burn.
- Don’t bounce — hold the position for a count of at least 20.
- Give yourself plenty of space to lie down or move around.
- Repeat the exercise three to five times during a workout, and schedule it for every day or every other day.
Additional treatment for disc pain
In addition to stretching for disc pain relief, a physician may suggest several other methods of conservative treatment to manage the symptoms associated with a bulging or herniated disc. These methods can include over-the-counter or prescription medication, other forms of exercise, behavior modification or rest. If chronic neck or back pain persists after weeks or months of conservative treatment, a physician may suggest surgery as an option.
Rather than settle for traditional open back surgery, consider the effective alternatives available at Laser Spine Institute. Our minimally invasive discectomy and stabilization procedure can treat damaged discs ranging from mild to severe. Depending on the severity of the damage, the surgeon may choose to remove just a small piece of the damaged disc that is compressing the nerve or remove the entire disc altogether and insert a more supportive artificial disc and bone grafts.