Recovery from a herniated disc can be helped immensely by a physiotherapy program. The right type of treatment is designed to offer immediate relief from back pain and to teach you how to avoid a recurring injury. There are several physiotherapy techniques which can be utilized to treat a herniated disc including hot and cold therapy, traction, deep tissue massage, hydrotherapy, and electrical stimulation.
The recovery program will typically start with passive treatments and continue with active treatments to prevent any further pain and to strengthen the body. The specific physiotherapy program used will depend on the nature of the problem and will be designed by one of our experienced therapists after a thorough assessment of your condition has been performed.
Hot and Cold Therapy
Hot and cold therapy is quite common as a treatment for many ailments including herniated discs. Many therapists will alternate between heat and cold as a way to achieve the best results. Heat is used to increase the blood flow in a specific area of the body and this delivers nutrients and extra oxygen to it. In addition, blood flow can also remove any waste byproducts from the muscle spasms. Cold therapy is also known as cryotherapy and this method slows the blood circulation. This can help to reduce pain, muscle spasms and inflammation in the affected area. Cryotherapy can include an ice massage, a simple ice pack or a fluoromethane spray which is able to cool down inflamed tissues.
Deep Tissue Massage
There are many types of massage used in physiotherapy, but the deep tissue option is considered the best for a herniated disc. This is because deep muscle spasms and tension can be relieved by the intense pressure of the massage.
TENS (Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation)
TENS has become a popular and effective tool for physiotherapists around the world as it stimulates muscles by using an electrical current on them. A TENS machine sends small electrical currents to specific nerves and key areas of the body through electrodes which are attached to your skin. This method can treat muscle spasms as well as release pain-killing endorphins in the body.
Traction is an effective way of reducing spine pain by gently pulling the bones apart and reducing disc herniation. It’s used in the lumbar and cervical spine to take the pressure off of them.
With a herniated disc, you’ll also be given active treatments to help with your strength, posture, flexibility, joint movement and core stability. Exercise programs are typically used to help achieve the desired results, ease the pain, and to improve your general health condition. At Fit Physiotherapy, one of our experienced team members will work hand in hand with you to develop a personalized treatment program which is based on your health history as well as your specific diagnosis and needs.
Core stability is essential when it comes to your spinal health as the abdominal muscles are designed to assist the back muscles in supporting the spine. If you have weak core muscles then extra pressure is placed on the back muscles. The best way to strengthen your core muscles and ultimately your back is by performing stabilizing exercises which also help the hamstrings, thighs and hips. Stretching techniques can also be used to improve your flexibility and this will help you perform strength and aerobic and strength exercises such as walking, bicycling and swimming.
Hydrotherapy is also an ideal active treatment option and you may be given a water aerobic program to help relieve stress from your body. In addition, the physiotherapist will help you with muscle strengthening to provide your spine with better support.
At Fit Physiotherapy you’ll be taught how to properly strengthen and condition your back to help ward off any future pain. You’ll learn the best way to treat and care for your specific symptoms so you can lead a pain-free lifestyle. This will allow you to continue exercising your back once your therapy treatment has cured the herniated disc.
If you’re suffering from back pain or any other type of ailment please feel free to contact us at Fit Physiotherapy for a professional diagnosis and assessment. Our trained team of therapists fully understands the special needs of back pain and will be able to design the proper type of treatment program needed to treat it. This will help to reduce pain and enable you to carry on with your normal social and work activities.