Need to know how to treat pain of herniated lumbar disks? There are many ways to treat the pain of a herniated disk in the lumbar spine. A herniated disk, also called a bulging or slipped disk, is a common ailment affecting many people, particularly those in their 30’s and 40’s. A disk is the soft, cushion-like shock absorber that is in between the vertebra of the spine. As, we age or if an injury occurs, these disks may protrude and place pressure on the nerves of the spinal cord. This can cause pain in the lower back and buttocks. Treatment depends on the severity of the pain.
- Modify your activity. When a disk is herniated it can cause pain. This pain may get worse with movement such as walking, bending, and sitting. To minimize the pain, rest is required. This may include limiting activity, avoiding exercise, or bed rest.
- Apply hot and cold packs. For the first couple days, you will want to use ice packs to treat the pain of a herniated lumbar disk. This will reduce the inflammation and help dull the pain. After 2-3 days, you can switch to a heating pad for relief and to loosen the muscles of the lower back.
- Take an over-the-counter pain reliever. For mild to moderate pain, you can take a pain reliever such as acetaminophen or ibupropren. Follow the directions on the label and use as needed.
- See you doctor. If the pain persists for longer than a week or is severe, you will want to see your doctor to treat the pain of a herniated disk. She may prescribe pain medication, anti-inflammatory drugs, or muscle relaxers. If this does not relieve the pain, a cortisone shot can be given in the lumbar spine to reduce inflammation.
- Stretch the lower back. After the inflammation and pain begin to subside it is important to stretch the lower back. This will help ease the pressures on the herniated lumbar disk and help it heal. Simply bend at the waist and side to side and hold this position for 10 seconds. Do this repeatedly throughout the day to help relieve the pressure and pain.
Source: Sports Medicine