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A herniated disc, sometimes known as a slipped disc or a ruptured disc, occurs when one of the cushioning pads between the vertebrae slips out of place and presses on nerves surrounding the area. While this sounds extremely serious, herniated discs are actually a relatively common spine condition and are usually caused by overuse or trauma to the spine. Here are a few tips for effectively treating a herniated disc so you can go back to being pain-free.

Strengthening Exercises- Keeping your back strong is a good way to keep a herniated disc at bay, as well as to prevent further injuries. Once you’re feeling better, begin doing exercises designed to strengthen and stabilize your lower back muscles. Start off slowly, then increase the duration and level of exercise at regular intervals. Stretching exercises like yoga and Pilates are a good way to build strength and improve flexibility in your spine. Ask your chiropractor for recommendations on the best back-strengthening exercises for you.

Weight Loss- When you are carrying around a few extra pounds (or more!) it makes your back have to work harder to support that extra body weight, which can lead to unnecessary pressure on your spine. With proper diet and exercise, you can lose weight, which will cut down on the heavy lifting you’re always doing. Your spine will thank you!

Massage- Deep-tissue massage is an especially effective way to treat a herniated disc. The large amount of pressure that is used to relieve tension in your muscles also helps to keep muscles from moving at the source of your back pain. Some health insurance plans cover deep-tissue massage as a physical therapy treatment. Contact your health insurance provider for more information on deep-tissue massage therapists who accept your plan.

Hydrotherapy- A fancy name for something that can be as simple as sitting in a whirlpool bath or taking hot showers, hydrotherapy uses water to relax your muscles, which in turn can relieve the pain of a herniated disc. Active hydrotherapy, such as water aerobics, has also proven effective in helping strengthen your body without having to put stress on your herniated disc.

Surgical Treatment- If your herniated disc is causing you chronic or debilitating pain, surgery may be your best option. Your spine surgeon can determine whether surgery is necessary or whether he or she can treat your herniated disc non-surgically through methods such as physical therapy.

Dr. Paul M. Brisson, MD is the leading spine surgeon in Manhattan, with years of dedicated experience specializing in herniated disc treatment. Dr. Brisson is conveniently located in Manhattan, and can help you get your life back on track and manage your back pain effectively. Call Dr. Brisson’s office today at 212-813-3632 to schedule your spinal consultation.

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