Did you know that back pain and slipped discs cause a loss of workforce of £ 624 million each year? Slipped (or herniated) discs are a very common problem that affects four out of every five people (*). Moreover, it is a health problem that anyone can experience at any time: If you do not lift even a light load with the right angle, you may get a slipped disc too. Not sitting in the right position, being overweight, smoking, and not exercising enough are the primary triggers of this problem. Both men and women are equally affected.
Simply put, there are 24 bones in your spine. They stand on top of each other and the area between them is called a “disc”. Think of them as a suspension system: They keep the bones healthy by absorbing the shocks that occur when moving (or lifting). However, if they “slip” for any reason, patients can experience (in some instances) severe pain in every part of their bodies, but most often in the legs. If the herniated disc is serious, the pain may be severe enough to prevent the person from engaging in any physical activity. Slipped disc problems most commonly occurs in the area called “lumbar spine”, which is the waist region.
The most commonly used treatment for slipped disc is oral drug therapy, which means strong painkillers are often prescribed. Unfortunately, this is not a permanent and effective solution: Painkillers only reduce the pain felt and do not eliminate the root cause of the problem. Moreover, it’s dangerous to use them constantly: Various liver problems can occur because the dosage needs to be increased continuously. In other words, it is not effective enough and has many side effects.
Osteopathy, on the other hand, can help resolve the slipped disc problem itself in a much simpler, painless, and non-invasive way.
Osteopathic Treatment Of Slipped Discs
Osteopaths aim to facilitate your body’s own healing mechanisms to help you return to normal function and health quickly. Osteopaths receive special training in the musculoskeletal system along with neurology and whilst it is not possible are to return the ‘slipped’ discs to their original positions, it is possible to create and environment in your spine to allow your body to do this itself. This can be achieved with various manipulation methods. This is called Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) and it requires the use of different techniques for each patient. An osteopath can use one or all of the following treatment options, depending on the severity of the problem:
- Traction with Manipulation In this technique, the legs and the head are pulled in different directions to manipulate the spine. An osteopath can also apply different traction techniques or use thrusting actions depending on the region where the problem occurs. In any case, this is a painless method and “popping” sounds that can be heard during the procedure are due to the displacement of nitrogen gas in the joints.
- Massage or deep compression This is not a simple massage: Osteopaths can use different methods such as myofascial release therapy, lymphatic pump techniques, and tender points counter-strain depending on the cause of the problem. The goal is to reduce muscle spasms to provide relaxation, and stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system to encourage healing. Contrary to popular belief, the most important cause of pain is muscle spasms in the region where the slipped disc is located. Reducing these spasms both helps the patient to relax and enables the patient to return to some normal function
Whichever method is used, osteopathy provides effective and lasting results for slipped discs. Don’t let this problem affect your life and make an appointment right away from your nearest osteopathic clinic: Taking painkillers is not the only option. Visit cramosteopaths.co.uk