A herniated disc can cause a person to experience excruciating pain. Surgery can often be risky, and many prescription painkillers are habit forming. Often the solution is a comprehensive program of pain management. The following are four things you can do to help reduce the amount of back pain you are experiencing in your lower back.
If you are overweight, lose those extra pounds
Pain relief with weight loss will be due to the extra pounds you are dropping from your stomach and chest areas. This weight creates more stress on your both the spine and the muscles of your lower back. Once you begin to reduce your weight in these areas, your lower back muscles will have less work to do, and this will enable muscles to relieve stress on your lower spine.
Daily stretching exercises
Your herniated disc is located in a specific area of the spine. It can also be a problem with more than one vertebrae and located only on one side of your spine. You may need the assistance of your doctor to understand the exact location. Once you know the specific area, there is likely a specific stretching exercise for this location. A slow stretch will relieve pressure on the cartilage protruding from the vertebrae, and this will lead to a reduction in pain.
Pay attention to how you are sleeping
The position you sleep in as well as the sleeping surface can contribute to your pain problem. In general, sleeping flat on your back will produce the best results, but some people have found relief sleeping on their stomach. A firm mattress is usually better than a soft one, and pay attention to your pillow. The position of your head can reduce or induce pain. No pillow at all may be a good option. Find out what is best for you. When your body is resting in a position that is stress free for your herniated disc, you will often experience less pain the following day.
Sit up straight in a chair with a straight, firm back
You were probably told to sit up straight as a child, but if you have a lower disc problem, you really need to be doing it. Keeping your back straight while in a sitting position is like having your spine is traction. With your feet flat on the floor, and sitting in an upright position, you will be placing the least amount of pressure on your lower back.
The key to pain relief from a herniated disc is pain management, and the above ideas are a great start to creating your own program to reduce your pain.