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The Herniated Disk – what it is and how to treat it

A hernia is typically defined as a protrusion of a part of the body. Commonly herniation involves the protrusion of abdominal viscera but sometimes other structures of the body might also herniate. One such example is of a herniated disk. Our spine is made up of numerous bones called vertebrae that are aligned on top of each other. A cushion-like disc separates all of the vertebrae from one another that acts as a shock absorber and helps to keep the spine flexible.
Trauma to the spine/back or normal aging may cause wear and tear of this disc to the extent that it may actually dislocated and herniate from its original position.
Signs of Herniated Disk
Herniated disks usually cause pain and numbness in the area of the back that is affected. The disc usually presses on to the nerves running behind the spine that can cause the numbing effect. These nerves also supply the buttocks and the legs and so muscles of these parts of the body are also commonly affected. The pain and numbness felt in the lower back by the compromise of the nerves is called sciatica and it is the classic symptom of a herniated disc.
Treatment Options
After the condition has been diagnosed through MRI and CT scanning, your doctor may recommend a couple of treatment options available.
Resting is the first step to a healthy recovery. Complete bed rest is advised for patients with severe pain. If the condition is mild, light activity can be resumed.
Using heating pads to alleviate pain every 2 to 3 hours are also recommended. Alternatively, warm showers to relax the muscles can also help to treat the symptoms of a herniated disk. Your doctor may also prescribe you painkillers like ibuprofen and naproxen.
However all of these above methods only help to cure the symptoms of the injury and not the actual herniation. For that, the most popular and widely used method of recovery is physical therapy.
A qualified physical therapist will help you perform various exercises to treat the herniated disk. However, if the injury is severe or if you want speedy recovery, then surgery is the final treatment option you can consider. A discectomy is performed on patients with sciatica caused by a herniated disk.
Are you local to Paramus and looking for a professional and personal physical therapist?  Contact Apex today and schedule your free evaluation!

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann

Tom Willemann is a premier physical therapist based out of Bergen County, New Jersey. He holds an MS in physical therapy from the University of Miami, is credentialed in the world-renowned McKenzie Method of Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy (MDT), and holds an OCS (Orthopedic Clinical Specialist) certification. As of 2018, there are approximately 14,000 ABPTS certified specialists in the nation and less than 400 of them are located in the state of New Jersey. Tom is the owner and director of Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation in Paramus. He opened the clinic, which specializes in spine and sports injury prevention, in 2004 after many years of experience in the field. Tom’s caring interest in others and his strong belief in continuity of care, combined with his clinic’s ability to find solutions for the most difficult orthopedic problems, have earned Apex Orthopedic Rehabilitation its excellent reputation with patients and medical professionals in northeastern New Jersey and beyond. A true “family man,” Tom takes pride in his clinic’s warm and welcoming environment.
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