The Conservative Treatment for a Prolapsed Disc

The Conservative Treatment for a Prolapsed Disc

Anyone who has ever experienced a prolapsed disc will tell you that it is an exceptionally painful condition.  Indeed, if you have ever seen anyone with a prolapsed disc, then you will also know that it is indeed very painful.  But help is at hand and this articles looks at the conservative management and treatment of a ‘disc prolapsed’.

What Is Conservative Treatment?

Conservative treatment is a term that is often used by healthcare professionals to describe a process of treatment that does not involve surgery.  Conservative treatment is not radical in the sense that surgery is, it is about trying to treat the patient without an invasive procedure, which surgery always is.

What Is a Disc Prolapse?

Lumbar discs that are found in the back are made up of two different sections, basically an outer layer and an inner layer.  If the disc has a prolapse then what happens is that the inner part of the disc, which is a jelly like substance, starts to leak and you feel pain.

Sometimes this pain can be felt as low down as in the bottom or even running down the leg, so it is not just the back that is affected.

What is the Initial Treatment?

When first diagnosed, you will probably be referred to a physiotherapist to ensure that you can be given exercise to help.  However, you will probably also be given some analgesic painkillers just to ease the pain that you are experiencing in the short term. 

Some remedies such as ultrasound or acupuncture have really been shown to help ease the pain and stop the inflammation.  You may also be prescribed some non-steroid anti inflammatory drugs, to try to ease the pain as well.

How Does Physiotherapy Help?

The whole emphasis of the physiotherapy treatment is to try and reduce the amount of pain and inflammation that you are experiencing.  In addition, the physiotherapist will be able to advise on how best day to day activities and sports can be done, in a manner that will minimise the risk of making the condition worse.

In the longer term, a physio will also work with patients to reduce any stiffness in the joints and patients will also be given some exercises to do at home, to keep their joints flexible, which will greatly help with the healing process.

Other Treatments

Other treatments that may be considered are continued use of acupuncture, as well as epidural steroid injections, to further reduce the inflammation and greatly ease the pain that the patient is feeling.  The epidural steroid injections will be advised by your pain consultant if s/he feels they are required.

The good news is that most people who have a disc prolapse will actually get better and just because someone has had it once, they will not automatically have a recurrent bout.  This is particularly true if they continue to adhere to the advice given by the physiotherapist and continue to carry out the exercises advised when the disc prolapse happened.

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