Alternative treatments for a herniated disc — acupuncture
A herniated disc often occurs as a result of natural changes that cause discs to degenerate over time. Eventually, the gel-like inner substance of one or more discs can push through the thicker outer wall. By itself, a herniated disc doesn’t necessarily cause symptoms. Problems generally arise when herniated disc material compresses a spinal nerve. This can result in pain, numbness, weakness and tingling that travel along the course of the affected nerve.
Typically, your physician will recommend you try any of a variety of conventional conservative treatments that are often effective in reducing the symptoms of a herniated disc. These options can include pain medications, physical therapy, hot/cold therapy and injections. Additionally, some patients choose to explore alternative treatments that are outside of mainstream medicine, such as acupuncture.
Considering acupuncture as an alternative herniated disc treatment
Acupuncture is an alternative treatment rooted in traditional Chinese medicine that can be used in an attempt to manage pain. Acupuncture typically involves inserting fine needles into the skin at specific locations throughout the body. Although not fully supported by the medical community, there is evidence that acupuncture works by stimulating the production of endorphins that can help ease the pain and other symptoms of conditions including herniated discs.
Patients attempting acupuncture should follow these general guidelines:
- Stay in close partnership with your primary care physician to make sure this treatment is compatible with your existing plan
- Find a licensed and reputable practitioner who has experience treating your condition
- Complement this treatment with conventional therapies and healthy lifestyle choices like good nutrition, regular exercise and a weight management plan, if needed
Other options for herniated disc relief
While many people experience a reduction in their pain after visiting an acupuncturist or by trying other nonsurgical methods, some turn to surgery when conservative and alternative treatments are unable to ease their symptoms. If you are considering surgery but have concerns about traditional open neck or back procedures, contact Laser Spine Institute today. We’ll be glad to tell you about our minimally invasive spine surgery that is a safer and effective alternative^ to traditional procedures.
We are pleased to offer a no-cost MRI or CT scan review* to determine if you may be a candidate for one of our procedures.