Fixing a bulging or herniated disc means different things to different people. Usually it either means a) help me stop my back pain, or b) help me fix the herniated disc. The end result may be the same but the perspective is critical.
If you simply want to mask the back pain you could take one of the many non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, get repeated cortisone shots, or beg your doctor for another pharmaceutical drug alternative. While you might reach the perceived goal of ending back pain, you of course have not addressed the real problem.
On the other hand, if you choose to fix a herniated disc by actually treating the underlying cause as well as the symptoms you’ll have a greater likelihood of both ending the pain and preventing its recurrence. That’s where this article will focus.
First, understand that outside of cases of trauma a herniated disc does not occur overnight. It may seem like you “threw your back out” all at once, yet it was a process of weakening over time that allowed your disc to suddenly become noticeably problematic. What you may find surprising is many have a herniated disc without pain. It’s when the disc or inner material from a herniated disc press against a nerve that pain results.
What causes a herniated disc
Simply put, herniated discs are primarily caused by uneven pressure. Think of driving a car that’s out of alignment. The tires wear unevenly due to more pressure being present on one edge. Keep driving without fixing the problem and sooner or later you’ll experience a blowout on the worn side.
The effect on spinal discs is similar. Uneven pressure caused by muscle imbalances cause the less-pressured side of the disc to bulge or rupture, squirting the jellylike interior through the fibrous disc membrane into the spinal column. Picture stomping one end of a jelly donut – the jelly would be pushed out the other side.
There are of course other contributing factors like hydration, nutritional imbalances and excess stress and negative beliefs to name a few.
How to fix a herniated disc
Clearly the first step to fixing a herniated disc is to remove this uneven pressure. One highly effective method of removing spinal pressure you can do right at home is called spinal decompression.
By using an exercise ball or other device, negative pressure is used to pull the vertebrae towards the head instead of towards the feet. One of the most effective tools for achieving this effect is with an inversion table, which uses gravity to gently relieve disc pressure. This negative pressure has been known to allow a herniated disc to return to its normal position by itself.
Once you have relieved the initial pressure you will still need to address the underlying root cause of compression: muscle imbalances. Using a muscle balance therapy self assessment or consulting with a provider versed in this course of treatment you will identify specific muscle imbalances leading to uneven spinal pressure. Then you will use exercises targeted to strengthen weak muscles and stretches for overused and tight muscles to reverse these imbalances.
By relieving the pressure on the herniated disc and correcting the underlying muscle imbalances you will have either fixed the herniated disc or gone a long way towards improving the condition.
And don’t forget, you can’t ignore the other causes mentioned earlier. In order to get true lasting relief you have to find the combination of treatments that address all of your underlying causes.