A Natural Approach to Health
Living With a Herniated Disc
I had a question the other day about a herniated disc.
The bones (vertebrae) that form the spine in your back are cushioned by small, spongy discs.
When these discs are healthy, they act as shock absorbers for your spine and keep your spine flexible.
But when a disc is damaged, it may bulge or break open.
This is called a herniated disc.
It may also be called a slipped or ruptured disc.
You can have a herniated disc in any part of your spine.
But most herniated discs affect your lower back.
Some happen in your neck and, more rarely, in your upper back.
A herniated disc may be caused by:
>Wear and tear of your disc. As you age, your discs dry out and aren’t as flexible.
>Injury to your spine. This may cause tiny tears or cracks in the hard outer layer of your disc. When this happens, the thick gel inside your disc can be forced out through the tears or cracks in the outer layer of your disc. This causes your disc to bulge or break open.
When a herniated disc presses on nerve roots, it can cause pain, numbness, and weakness in the area of your body where the nerve travels.
A herniated disc in your lower back can cause pain and numbness in your buttock and down your leg.
This is called sciatica.
Sciatica is the most common symptom of a herniated disc in the low back.
If a herniated disc isn’t pressing on a nerve, you may have a backache or no pain at all.
Symptoms from a herniated disc usually get better in a few weeks or months.
Usually a herniated disc will heal on its own over time.
About half of people with a herniated disc get better within 1 month, and most are better within 6 months.
Only about 1 person out of 10 eventually has surgery.
Be patient, and keep following your treatment plan.
After you’ve hurt your back, you’re more likely to have back problems in the future.
To deal with a herniated disc it’s beneficial to:
*Stay well hydrated, drink 6-8 cups of purified water daily.
*Recommended herbs include alfalfa, burdock, oat straw, slippery elm, and white willow bark. They can be taken in capsule, extract, or tea form. White willow bark is particularly helpful. Also, arnica, a homeopathic remedy, may prove useful as well.
*Avoid all meats and animal protein products until you’re healed. Don’t eat gravies, oils, fats, sugar, or rich or highly processed foods.
*Follow a fasting program.
*Apply moist heat or cold packs.
*Learn relaxation techniques.
*Discover and avoid stress triggers.
*Breathe deeply to oxygenate your cells.
*Increase EFAs (essential fatty acids) with Omega 3, flaxseed oil, olive oil, etc., because these help lubricate your joints and decrease inflammation
*Increase B-complex, Lecithin, Cal/Mag, and VitalMag because these support nerve function.
*Consider acupuncture and/or chiropractic.
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