Lower back pain can quickly affect the way that you approach everyday tasks and activities. When it gets severe, it can impact your quality of life.
One common cause of lower back pain is lumbar disc compression. Luckily, if you find that this is the cause of your pain, you have multiple options for treatment and reducing your symptoms.
What Causes Lumbar Disc Compression?
A herniated, or compressed, disc can cause you severe pain. But how does a disc become herniated in the first place?
Discs sit between vertebrae and act as cushions when pressure is applied to the spine. However, as the vertebrae and the spine change alignment, or after a severe blow to the spine, there may not be room for the disc to properly sit between the vertebrae and provide the needed cushion.
Worse, with nowhere to go, the disc leaks out and puts pressure on nerves around the spine. Both the disc itself and the pinched or affected nerves can cause severe back pain.
Lumbar discs (the discs in the lower back) are commonly affected by compression because the lower back takes more force and pressure than any other part of the back.
What Are My Options for Treating Pain Related to Lumbar Disc Compression?
Before you work on treating your lower back pain, visit a chiropractor or specialist who will help assign a proper diagnosis and find the source of your back pain. A few different conditions can cause back pain – you don’t want to seek treatment for a herniated disc if your discs are not herniated.
Once you have established that a compressed or herniated disc is the cause your pain, consider the following treatment options:
Heat Therapy. If you are experiencing back spasms and your pain isn’t severe, heat therapy will be able to help relieve your symptoms. Place a heated pack or heat wraps on the affected area (or pop in a hot tub for a little bit) to help relax your muscles and alleviate pain.
Physical Therapy. Physical exercise is not only good for your overall health, it also directly affects the pressure put on your spine. Take core stability, for example. Your core and spine work together to keep you upright and moving throughout the day. The less stable your core is, the more pressure your body puts on your spine.
This pressure is what causes misalignment and pinched nerves in your back. A chiropractor or physical therapist can suggest exercises for your core and other parts of the body to strengthen your back.
Epidural Steroid Injection. One common option for treatment is receiving epidural steroids in your lower back. This pain relief is not permanent. It will, however, provide relief while you work with a physical or exercise therapist to strengthen your back and work toward more permanent pain relief. Anti-inflammatory medications are also often prescribed to people who suffer from lower back pain and herniated discs.
Spinal Decompression. If a compressed disc is causing your back pain, it only makes sense that “decompressing” will relieve your pain, right?
Spinal decompression gently stretches out the spine to realign its position and take pressure off of the discs that separate the vertebrae. It can also open up the routes that water, oxygen, and other important fluids use to bring nutrients to your spine and different parts of the body.
Spinal decompression is available in both surgical and non-surgical, non-evasive treatments.
For more information about spinal decompression treatments, and how you can start to relieve your back pain today, contact a Florida chiropractor.
About the Author:
Dr. Marc Browner is the Founder of iChiropractic and Wellness in Naples, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida in 1991, he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic in 1995. In private practice since 1998, Dr. Browner is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Society, the Florida Chiropractic Association, and he attends continuing education seminars, classes, and workshops to remain abreast of the most current treatment methods and technological advances in the field.