Natural treatment options for a herniated nucleus pulposus
Herniated nucleus pulposus treatment does not always involve surgery. This fairly common condition, which is often associated with age-related spinal degeneration, occurs when part or all of the soft, gelatinous center of a spinal disc is forced through a weakened part of the disc’s outer shell.
A herniated nucleus pulposus may heal on its own as the body absorbs the out-of-place disc material. However, treatment may be required if the spinal cord or a nerve root is compressed. Nerve compression can cause varying degrees of discomfort in the form of neck or back pain, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, numbness and tingling sensations that radiate down an arm or leg. Even when treatment is necessary, though, surgery is not the only option, and only rarely is it the first option considered.
Conservative and natural treatment options
Some people experience a marked improvement in their herniated nucleus pulposus symptoms after using conservative therapies. If you require treatment and are interested in taking the most natural approach possible — which is very understandable — you should tell your physician. He or she can take your preferences into account when developing a treatment plan for you.
As part of your natural herniated nucleus pulposus treatment, your physician may suggest that you try one or more of the following options:
- Low-impact exercise
- Postural improvement
- Hot and cold compresses
- Lifestyle changes, such as smoking cessation and weight loss, if applicable
- Massage therapy
- Tai chi
- Chiropractic manipulation
Regardless of which therapies you ultimately decide to use, however, you’ll need to remember that effective herniated nucleus pulposus treatment requires a long-term commitment with ongoing monitoring and adjustment. Also, keep in mind that some treatments work very well for certain people but are completely ineffective for others. Therefore, it’s important that you don’t become easily discouraged — it may take a bit of trial and error to find a program that provides the relief you are looking for.
More advanced treatments
If you’ve tried all of your natural treatment options and are still experiencing pain, you might want to ask your physician about medications, injections or even a surgical procedure. With regard to surgery, you may have a safer and effective alternative to a highly invasive open spine procedure, such as the minimally invasive outpatient procedures performed at Laser Spine Institute.^ To find out if you’re a candidate, contact us today.