Treating a slipped disc with alternative treatments such as yoga
A slipped disc, which is a nonmedical term for disc conditions such as a herniated disc, generally occurs due to natural deterioration of spinal anatomy as we age. This deterioration can allow our spinal discs to weaken and compress spinal nerves. While surgery is sometimes required to treat a slipped disc, conservative and alternative treatments are effective in a very high number of cases.
Symptoms of a slipped disc
The location of a slipped disc will dictate where a patient feels the typical symptoms of pain, numbness and tingling:
- Cervical region. The cervical (upper) region of the spine is located in the neck. When a patient has a slipped disc in the cervical region, symptoms can be felt in the neck, shoulders, arms and even the hands.
- Thoracic region. When slipped discs occur in the thoracic (middle) region, symptoms may be felt anywhere within the torso or sometimes the inner arms.
- Lumbar region. The lower portion of the spine is called the lumbar region. A slipped disc in this location can cause discomfort from the hips and buttocks to the toes. The lumbar region is more susceptible to developing a slipped disc since it bears more weight than the other regions.
How yoga can help a slipped disc
One way to reduce the symptoms associated with a slipped disc is through alternative treatments such as yoga. This form of exercise serves to strengthen the muscles in the body, including the neck and back, through a series of held poses and stretches. Stronger and more flexible neck and back muscles will provide better support to the vertebrae, allowing for decreased pressure on the spinal nerves. Yoga also stresses the importance of meditation, a practice that can reduce overall body tension and thereby help reduce neck and back pain. Other alternative treatments for a slipped disc include acupuncture, herbal remedies and chiropractic care.
Before beginning any exercise like yoga, be sure to speak with your primary care physician or back specialist. Several factors can determine whether a patient should limit his or her physical activity to avoid making the spinal condition worse. Patients with a slipped disc may be recommended to explore the possibility of surgery if other treatments such as yoga are not effective in bringing relief. In this case, patients should consider minimally invasive spine surgery performed at Laser Spine Institute.
Contact us to learn about the effective alternatives to traditional open neck and back surgery offered at Laser Spine Institute. A member of our caring team can tell you how to receive a free MRI review* to determine if you are a potential candidate for one of our procedures.