Natural Treatment for Herniated Discs
Not all herniated discs require surgery. In most cases, natural treatments can be used. These serve both to reduce symptoms, especially pain, and to help the body to reabsorb the herniated tissue and heal it.
Herniated discs are a very common health problem. In fact, according to medical estimates, 1 out of every 100 adults in the world suffers from this condition. Likewise, experts believe that at least 50% of people suffer, or will suffer, from some type of problem in their back during their lives.
We know that disc herniation is more frequent in the cervical or lumbar area, that is to say, in the neck, or the lower part of the back. This is because these are the areas of the spine that have the greatest mobility. However, a hernia can occur in any segment of the spine.
Not all persistent pain in the back is due to to a disc herniation. Likewise, not all herniated discs produce pain. Experts believe that about 30% of the population could have herniated discs without experiencing any symptoms.
The spine is made up of several bones called vertebrae. Adults have a total of 26 vertebrae. Each vertebra is separated on either side by intervertebral discs. The only exception is the area of the sacrum and coccyx where there are no discs.
The discs are made up of a pulpous tissue. Their main function is to cushion the impact between the vertebrae, during movement. They have a high water content, which begins to decrease with time.
As we said before, these discs have a fibrous ring surrounding them. When the disc loses strength, due to age or trauma, the fibrous ring can break. This is when the disc herniation forms, and it’s usually painful and even disabling. It can often be corrected through surgery, but it can also be treated by resorting to alternative solutions.
Read more: Symptoms of Degenerative Disc Disease
Nutrition as a means of treating herniated discs
One of the measures to both prevent and treat disc herniation is to follow a proper diet. Drinking enough water daily is essential, and experts recommend that adults consume at least two liters per day. This protects the intervertebral discs and reduces inflammation if there’s a herniated disc.
A good diet won’t correct a herniated disc by itself, but it does contribute decisively to the treatment. Combined with other measures, it usually gives good results. It’s advisable to have a diet based on fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and all kinds of antioxidant foods.
Likewise, acidifying or inflammatory elements should be avoided. Some of these are red meat, sugar, food containing preservatives or colorings, food containing gluten, and the so-called “junk food”, among others.
Physiotherapy and chiropractics
Physiotherapy is one of the most commonly used resources for treating disc conditions. Generally, the health professional will prescribe an exercise routine that should be followed carefully. The application of cold, heat, or both, are frequently used in the affected area.
One of the most effective treatments for disc herniation is chiropractics. On this point, it’s important to emphasize that whoever carries out this type of intervention must be someone well-trained and experienced. A bad chiropractor may not only be ineffective, but in some cases dangerous.
A good chiropractor can correct a herniated disc, whether in the cervical or lumbar area. The objective of this treatment is for the vertebra to reabsorb the tissue, thus healing the hernia completely. In the early stages, it’s also a very effective measure against pain.
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Some medicinal plants can be taken as an infusion, and these can help treat the symptoms of a herniated disk. In particular, they reduce inflammation and pain. One of the most effective is the infusion of thyme, oregano, and horsetail. Together they have an anti-inflammatory effect that’s very beneficial for this condition.
- Simply take a pan and add half a liter of water.
- After, add a teaspoon each of thyme, oregano, and horsetail.
- Put it on medium heat and let it boil for five minutes.
- Then, let it sit for 10 minutes and strain.
- You should drink three cups a day, before mealtimes.
You can also prepare an infusion of thyme and rosemary in the same way. Other plants that serve the same purpose are white willow bark and harpagophyte root.
Remember that none of these measures should replace a doctor’s consultation.