If you’ve been diagnosed with slipped disc, you need not fear treatment. The route to recovery involves physiotherapy sessions, pain killers. In most cases, you can expect to recover in two weeks with physiotherapy sessions and home exercises.
“Slipped disc treatment without surgery involves physiotherapy through which we eliminate pain and functionally rehabilitate the person” says Dr Aman Sachdeva, Consultant, Physiotherapy.
With the latest physiotherapy equipments and advanced treatment techniques, you can treat your slipped disc with conservative treatments and avoid surgery.
Chances of Slipped Disc
“Sometimes slipped disc is perceived to be an ‘old-age disease’, associated with degeneration “ smiles Dr Manish Dalwani, Senior Consultant, Orthopedics. “But it can happen to anyone between 15 – 75 years.”
“Elderly people, smokers or those who sit for prolonged hours everyday are at an increased risk of developing slipped disc” he adds.
“But there’s nothing to worry. With the appropriate treatment, you can go back to your daily activities and even gym” assures Dr Manish.
Slipped Disc Treatment Without Surgery
Physiotherapy for slipped disc involves core exercises, electrotherapy, myofascial release, endurance training, taping and postural analysis and correction. An individualised treatment plan needs to be developed for each person after a detailed assessment by an expert therapist. These techniques should only be done by skilled physiotherapists or under their watchful eye.
1. Core Exercises for Slipped Disc
Known as the natural brace of the human body, core muscles play an important role in supporting and stabilising the lower spine. One of the major causes of slipped disc is weakening of the core muscles. If your core muscles are weak, it leads to increased load and strain on the spine which results in back pain.
Therefore, strengthening your core muscles through exercises becomes an important aspect in treatment of slipped disc. However,starting an exercise program without a detailed assessment can be risky and so you must consult a trained therapist.
How it is done: Watch the video below to learn which core exercises you should do.
How it helps: These exercises strengthen your core muscles leading to reduced strain on the back and improvement in your condition.
Alongside core exercises, electrotherapy modalities like laser therapy, Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation (TENS) and Interferential therapy (IFT) are employed for immediate pain relief.
How it is done: These modalities send light electrical stimulation in the muscles and are used during the initial treatment period for pain relief.
The light electrical stimulation stimulate the impacted nerve in the back which tricks your brain into blocking the pain signals. This also instigates your body to produce endorphins, which act as the body’s natural pain relieving hormones.
How it helps: These modalities therefore help in reducing the pain felt which is the first priority in treatment of slipped disc.
Laser Treatment being done on a patient diagnosed with slipped disc
3. Myofascial Release
How it is done: In myofascial release, slow and sustained manual pressure is applied to your back which helps to stretch and relax your strained back muscles.
How it helps: This hands-on technique helps greatly in reducing your pain.
4. Endurance Training
Endurance training is initiated with the objective to increase endurance and reducing the fatigue in your back muscles.
How it is done: Endurance training for slipped disc usually starts with 2-3 sets of 15 reps of back extension exercises a day.
How it helps: Repeated muscle contraction (or exercising) for a prolonged period of time helps enhance your strength and endurance.
5. Taping or K-Tape
How it is done: Taping or K-tape is another effective method to relieve pain wherein a cotton strip with acrylic adhesive is applied to the problem area.
How it helps: Taping offloads pressure from the stressed back muscles which results in immediate pain relief. It also increases blood circulation in the back which further promotes the healing process. Taping also provides support to your back and promotes healthy posture and normal function.
6. Postural Analysis and Correction
You should also consider getting a postural analysis and correction done. Bad posture leads to unnecessary strain on your back. During a postural analysis and correction, the physiotherapist analyses your posture and advises measures to correct it. This would also help reduce unwanted stress on your spine.
Slipped Disc Surgery
If the pain still persists in spite of prolonged physiotherapy, you might need slipped disc surgery through minimally-invasive surgery (MIS). If you have slipped disc with any complications like weakness, paralysis of muscles in the lower limbs, numbness in legs or involvement of bladder and bowel control then MIS is needed.
“Most minimally-invasive surgeries (MIS) are usually 15 minutes procedures after which you can return home in 2 hours. You can resume your daily activities immediately after the procedure” adds Dr Manish.
If you’ve been avoiding treatment, you should consult an expert right away. A little care and proper treatment is better than suffering with pain and regrets in the future.