Conservative Treatments For A Prolapsed Disc: Exercise!
Anyone who is over 40 may assume that any advice about having a prolapsed disc will stress bed rest and the need to do nothing. However, the general advice now is that anyone who has a prolapsed disc must make as much of an effort as they can to take some form of exercise; perhaps not running a marathon, but walking round the house, to the end of the street and so on can do an enormous amount to help restore mobility after a slipped disc.
What Is A Slipped Disc?
A slipped or prolapsed disc is a condition that can occur without any warning and for no apparent reason. There is no one single cause and patients often have no idea why they have experienced a slipped disc. The disc itself does not ‘slip’ but in effect the discs in the spine (usually the lower part of the spine, in the lumbar region) have inner parts, that are very soft and referred to as the nucleus pulposus. When one of these bulges out, from the inner part of the disc, the condition is referred to as a slipped/prolapsed/herniated disc! The bad news is that the greater the prolapse or bulge, the more severe the pain will be!
Anyone who has experienced a prolapsed disc will find that the pain can be excruciating and it can feel as if the last thing that you want to do is to exercise. However, your physiotherapist will advise exercises that you should undertake to help the back to heal itself and the more exercise that you undertake, the more it is likely that your recovery will be quicker, that you will not develop long term back pain and that generally keeping active will bring enormous benefits.
Gently Does It
Keeping active is somewhat subjective, but generally keep as active as you can. This could mean undertaking the exercises prescribed by your physiotherapist and ensuring that you walk as much as possible. You should also aim to increase physical activity, start off with walking around internally, then walk to the end of the street, then to a local shop or post box, then further the next day. This will ensure that you are able to keep mobility and improve strength.
Long Term Exercise
Although there is no evidence (yet) to prove that specific back exercises will ensure that you don’t have a long term back condition, it has been proven that keeping active and undertaking exercise on a regular basis, is one way to help reduce the occurrence of back pain or back conditions in the future. Obviously there is no guarantee, but there is a greater chance of living a pain free life if you undertake regular exercise. Being aware of your back can also help reduce the chances of a back condition re-occurring; this simply means lifting appropriately, making sure that you do not put your back under undue stress and being aware of correct sitting positions when at a PC etc.